Those Who do not Fully Follow God

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Those Who do not Fully Follow God
Text: Deuteronomy 1:19–2:37
* My message to the church this morning is entitled “Those who do not fully follow God- a serious warning”
* I intend to be very brief this morning, and I am doing this in order that the brevity might underscore the seriousness of the message.
* Preaching the Word of God has many different modes this morning.
* We see this when the apostle Paul admonishes young Timothy and tells him how to preach in 2 Timothy 3:16:
2 Timothy 3:16–4:2 (KJV 1900)
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
4 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
* For about the past 36 weeks you have come and listened to me preach in the teaching, or instructing, mode in this church.
* I have taught you verse by verse through the Sermon on the Mount, which is the heart of all of what Jesus taught in the Bible.
* We looked together verse by verse at the Beatitudes of Jesus- and learned the attitudes of the Kingdoms of God.
* And then we studied together the Kingdom Parables- and learned the principles of the Kingdom of God.
* And then we studied the Lord’s Prayer together, carefully making sure to squeeze every last drop of truth, in order to learn how to pray as Jesus taught a true Kingdom citizen to pray.
* Now this morning, I am exiting the teaching mode of a pastor, and I am now entering the admonishing mode of preaching.
* You will notice a definite change in the preaching, this morning. I just wanted to warn you so that you don’t think I’m mad or something.
* I have a word of admonishment for you today from the Scriptures, and hopefully, impressed upon my heart by the Holy Spirit, for Blue Springs Baptist Church this morning.
* I will attempt to be short and directly to the point as the Holy Spirit leads this morning, so listen closely.
* The message this morning is a serious warning to the people of Blue Springs Baptist Church, to fully obey the commands of God.
* Several times in the Bible, Jesus reminded us that the greatest of all the commandments of God, is to Love God with All your heart and All your soul and All your mind!
* The Bible says in Matthew 22:35–38
35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him,
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment.
* The emphasis of the greatest commandment of all in this passage, is on the world “all!”
* Do your really understand what it means to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind?
* Most of us think that we do, but I am afraid that many have deceived themselves this morning.
* I am going to share a story from the life of the children of Israel, God’s people, and I want you to listen very, very closely to what happens in this story.
* Before I get into this story I want to remind you that the Bible says that the things that happened to the children of Israel, God's people, happened as examples to teach us and warn us of how we should fully obey God.
1 Corinthians 10:11–12 (KJV 1900)
11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
* Now let’s look at our text together this morning in Deuteronomy chapter 1, beginning with verse 19:
* As we come to this text, Moses is one last time gathering the people of Israel together and re-telling the story of their exodus from Egypt, and their journey toward the promised land, and the future blessings of God as the enter the promised land.
* Moses is warning the people not to forget to “fully obey God” as they prepare to inter the Promised Land, lest they serve God half-heartedly and suffer for their lack of respect for the commands of God.
* Now let’s get into the story in Deuteronomy chapter 1 and verse 19:
Text: Deuteronomy 1:19–2:37 (KJV 1900)
19 And when we departed from Horeb, we went through all that great and terrible wilderness, which ye saw by the way of the mountain of the Amorites, as the Lord our God commanded us; and we came to Kadesh-barnea.
20 And I said unto you, Ye are come unto the mountain of the Amorites, which the Lord our God doth give unto us.
* Notice with me now that the children of Israel are now gathered at Kedesh-barnea, just about to enter into the Promised Land, and God commands the children to go in and take the land.
* This is the commandment of God; this is the will of God for these people at this moment in their lives… now let’s continue…
21 Behold, the Lord thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged.
* Now notice the people, instead of immediately obeying the command of God, begin to mess with what God had commanded…
22 And ye came near unto me every one of you, and said, We will send men before us, and they shall search us out the land, and bring us word again by what way we must go up, and into what cities we shall come.
23 And the saying pleased me well: and I took twelve men of you, one of a tribe: 24 And they turned and went up into the mountain, and came unto the valley of Eshcol, and searched it out.
* There was no need in forming a committee to see if they were going to obey God or not. The children of Israel now begin down the slippery slope of second guessing God…
25 And they took of the fruit of the land in their hands, and brought it down unto us, and brought us word again, and said, It is a good land which the Lord our God doth give us.
* The land was good, just like God said it was…
26 Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the Lord your God: 27 And ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because the Lord hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us.
* Now, because they did not immediately obey God, they began to doubt God, and so they begin to make excuses for not obeying the Word of God…
28 Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there.
* Moses tries to encourage God’s people, just like your pastor, or your parents, have from time to time, tried to encourage you to stop your excuses and simply obey God…
* You might relate to this. My son too was making excuses for disobeying the clear commands of the Word of God, and was living with his girlfriend, not married.
* When I admonished my son, he began to make excuses. He told me how that if they got married, then they would lose all their government benefits, and they would not be able to pay their rent, or have enough to eat.
* I remember having to explain to my son, who was living with his girlfriend, unmarried, that If they would just obey God and get married, then God would honor their obedience and take care of their needs.
* So Moses tells them not to be afraid, but fully obey the command of God to go in and take the Promised Land.
29 Then I said unto you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them. 30 The Lord your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes; 31 And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the Lord thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place.
* But just as people do, the people of God persisted in doubting the Word of God, and formed their little committee, and decided that if they obeyed God right now, it would not be a good thing- as if they we smarter than God, and knew more about the situation than God did…
32 Yet in this thing ye did not believe the Lord your God, 33 Who went in the way before you, to search you out a place to pitch your tents in, in fire by night, to shew you by what way ye should go, and in a cloud by day.
* How many times has God proved to you that He can meet all your needs if you only fully obey his Word, but still we persist in our rebellion against God’s commands…
* The children of Israel, by making excuses for not immediately obeying the command of God, provoked God to anger… Look at verse 34…
34 And the Lord heard the voice of your words, and was wroth, and sware, saying, 35 Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers,
* There was one man there who fully obeyed God with all his heart named Caleb, and out of the over 600,000 people that stood before Moses at Kadesh Barnea, Caleb and one other were the only ones that received the blessings of the Promised Land…
36 Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him will I give the land that he hath trodden upon, and to his children, because he hath wholly followed the Lord.
37 Also the Lord was angry with me for your sakes, saying, Thou also shalt not go in thither. 38 But Joshua the son of Nun, which standeth before thee, he shall go in thither: encourage him: for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.
39 Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.
* Now, I want you to pay special attention to what happens to people who make excuses for not obeying the Word of God…
40 But as for you, turn you, and take your journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea.
* Now they had already angered God because they did not immediately obey his will.
* Now here is the most important thing I want you to see… This is the truth I want you to take home with you this morning…
* Even though they eventually planned one day to do the commands of God, not obeying right now was not acceptable to God, and they suffered greatly for it.
* Notice also that even thought they realized that they had messed up and were now ready to repent, it was too late to repent.
* Can it really be too late to repent?
* Thing of the man in prison who is sorry for his sin…, does his repentance take away his punishment?
* Look at verse 41…
41 Then ye answered and said unto me, We have sinned against the Lord, we will go up and fight, according to all that the Lord our God commanded us.
And when ye had girded on every man his weapons of war, ye were ready to go up into the hill.
* Now they are ready to obey! Now they want to pull their act together! But it is too late!
* Their opportunity to obey the commands of God is over, they have made their bed, and now they must sleep in it, because they did not fully obey the command of God!
* I wonder how many people that God had great plans for, but they have said in their heart:
* “Hold on just a minute God, I will get around to obeying your Word, but there are a few things I want to do first, then I will serve you fully.
* Right now I just want to put off your commands to flee fornication, and live with this guy, and see if we are compatible, then, If this relationship is everything I want it to be, then I will obey you.
* Oh Lord, I know I need to be faithful to church, I know I need discipline myself to read and study the Bible, but there is just not enough time right now!
* There is not enough time in my life for me to obey your command to not forsake the assembly of God’s people together in the church!
* But I want you to know that I plan on getting involved and being faith to the church, just as soon as I get my life planned out the way I want it!
* At this point I want to remind you of what Jesus said about those who make excuses for not following God whole-heartedly:
Matthew 10:38–39 (KJV 1900)
38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
Luke 14:15–24 (KJV 1900)
16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: 17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.
18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse.
The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come...
24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.
* Back to our story now, look at Deuteronomy chapter 1 and verse 42 with me now…
42 And the Lord said unto me, Say unto them, Go not up, neither fight; for I am not among you; lest ye be smitten before your enemies.
43 So I spake unto you; and ye would not hear, but rebelled against the commandment of the Lord, and went presumptuously up into the hill.
44 And the Amorites, which dwelt in that mountain, came out against you, and chased you, as bees do, and destroyed you in Seir, even unto Hormah.
45 And ye returned and wept before the Lord; but the Lord would not hearken to your voice, nor give ear unto you.
* I know what you are thinking- you that have made excuses to follow God half-heartedly- You who think that God will overlook your refusal to line your life up with the Bible!
* Just as God did not overlook Israel’s refusal to obey His command in this story, God will not overlook your rebellion to obey His commands either!
46 So ye abode in Kadesh many days, according unto the days that ye abode there.
* So we see that even though the children of Israel wept before the Lord, He would not give them a second chance to obey his commands, it was too late to repent!
* The blessings of the Promised Land were gone forever, and they wandered for the next 40 years until the Bible says their carcasses fell in the wilderness.
Hebrews 3:15–4:1 (KJV 1900)
15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice,
harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. 16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.
17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?
19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
4 Let us therefore fear,
* Let us therefore fear! Fear, be afraid you who say in your heart “I will obey the commandments of the Lord, but not right now! Be afraid you that half-way follow Jesus!
lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
* There are people in this congregation, people that as your pastor, I fear for you, and I pray for you!
* You make excuses why you do not follow Jesus and obey God’s Word, and your judgment will fall upon you while you are still saying in your heart “I will fully obey the commandments of the Lord, but not right now!”
* I pray for you because I can see that your present plan in life is to put off fully obeying the Lord just like the children of Israel did in our text this morning.
* Your plan in life is to put fully obeying God on hold for the present time, but you fully intend later, after you have carried out your plans for your life, to take your life and fully give it to the Lord at that time.
* I am here to tell you that God will have none of that!
* If you don't obey the Lord fully now, then God will not hear your prayers, and God will not bless and honor you, and you will bring upon yourself great sorrow!
* And it will be too late when you decide that you have messed up, and with tears you come to God expecting help from the Lord, only to find that God will no longer help you.
* We have the example of Esau before us this morning who missed out on the Birthright blessings of the firstborn, because he did not take the Word of God serious, and fully obey the commandments of the Lord.
* Esau was so busy being what he wanted to be, and doing what he wanted to do, being a great hunter, and a man of the field, that he had no fear or respect for the commandments of God.
* Esau had so little respect for the things of God, that he sold his birthright for a bowl of portage.
* Esau had so little respect for living his life the way God had commanded; that the Bible says he unto himself wives that grieved his parents and displeased God.
* You say, but I thought God was a merciful God?
* I say to you oh yes, God will always take his children back, after that they have been disobedient, but just because you change your mind, that will not take away the price you will pay for your rebellion!
* Just like the children of Israel, who ran presumptuously up the hill to fight the city of AI, thinking that God would be with them, you will find out that like them, after that you have refused to fully obey the Lord, you will find that God will not be with you.
* And like the rebellious children of Israel, God will allow the enemy to strike you down and pursue you!
* You will pay for your rebellion, just like the children of Israel who wandered around in the wilderness for 40 years, so will you also suffer for not fully following the commands of the Lord.
* Oh yes, they were still God's people, and God still fed them and clothed them in the wilderness for 40 years, but he withheld the blessings of obedience from them until their carcasses fell in the wilderness!
* Did you know that the Bible says it was only three days journey to the Promised Land that God had commanded them!
* If they had fully obeyed the commandments of the Lord, they would have avoided 40 years of wandering in the wilderness!
* The wise preacher said in Proverbs, that God will laugh in the heavens at your calamity because you refused to listen to wisdom!
Proverbs 1:22–33 (KJV 1900)
22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? And the scorners delight in their scorning, And fools hate knowledge?
23 Turn you at my reproof: Behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; 25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, And would none of my reproof:
26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
27 When your fear cometh as desolation, And your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; When distress and anguish cometh upon you.
28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; They shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: 29 For that they hated knowledge,
And did not choose the fear of the Lord: 30 They would none of my counsel:
They despised all my reproof. 31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, And be filled with their own devices.
32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, And the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.
33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, And shall be quiet from fear of evil.
* I think of the man Achan who did not fully obey the Lord and took what God had said not to take after the battle of Jericho, and how that God was no longer with His people until Joshua dealt with Achan's disobedience.
*The people went up to war and were beat down by the enemy, because Achan did not fully obey the commandment of the Lord.
Joshua 7:12–13 (KJV 1900)
12 Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed:
neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.
13 Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus saith the Lord God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you.
* I think of King Saul and how he did not fully follow the Lord when God told him to go into a city and fully destroy every person in that city and carry out God’s judgment against the sins of that city and it’s king.
* Because of Saul did not fully follow the commandments of the Lord, God refused Saul and Saul for-fitted the blessing of being king of Israel forever!
1 Samuel 15:18–31 (KJV 1900)
18 And the Lord sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.
19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the Lord,
but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the Lord?
20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and have gone the way which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal.
22 And Samuel said,
Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to hearken than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, He hath also rejected thee from being king.
24 And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.
25 Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the Lord.
26 And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord hath rejected thee from being king over Israel.
27 And as Samuel turned about to go away, he laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent. 28 And Samuel said unto him, The Lord hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou.
29 And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent.
30 Then he said, I have sinned: yet honour me now, I pray thee, before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and turn again with me, that I may worship the Lord thy God.
31 So Samuel turned again after Saul; and Saul worshipped the Lord.
* The invitation is simple this morning.
* You know in your heart if you are fully following the Lord this morning.
* You also know if you have been making excuses not to follow the Word of God fully, with all your hear, all your mind, and with all your soul.
* I read to you a passage from Hebrews concerning the very text of our story this morning earlier…
Hebrews 3:15–4:1 (KJV 1900)
15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice,
harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. 16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.
17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?
19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
4 Let us therefore fear,
lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
* Allow me to share with you the rest that passage at this time:
Hebrews 4:9–12 (KJV 1900)
9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works,
* Let me just interject right here, that if you are ever going to fully love God, and follow God, and obey the Word of God, you will first have to stop trying to do things your way, and start doing things according to the Bible!
* That is what verse it means to “cease from your own works!”
* As a follower of Jesus, you will never have the peace and blessings of God on your life until you totally surrender yourself to God and the Bible!
as God did from his. 11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
* The Word of God, and the Holy Spirit of God has gone over this congregation this morning and penetrated each heart and has discerned, our judged each of us.
* If the Spirit of God has revealed to you that you have been making excuses to keep from wholly following the Word of God in your life, make your way to this alter and repent with fear, before God gives you up to your own ways, to suffer judgment.
1 Peter 4:17 (KJV 1900)
17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
Hebrews 10:22–31 (KJV 1900)
22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering;
(for he is faithful that promised;) 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord.
And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
* If the Holy Spirit has pricked your heart, you had better get your act together right now, and renew your commitment to follow Jesus… all the way.
* Let’s pray togeather.
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