SALVATION FOR THE UNSAVEABLE, Pt. 2
TEXT: Joshua 2:1-24, Luke 10:1-16
INTRO: I want to make clear that our church, after all the trials of the last 2 years, is at a place where it must be revived and reminded of its way forward. The nation of Israel was at a similar place when Moses died and Joshua was called to lead the nation from wandering in the wilderness to occupying the Promised Land. That is why I have started the year using the lessons of Joshua and the Israelites as guides for our own growth.Last week we looked at the 2nd chapter of Joshua, which records the story of Rahab, a harlot from Jericho, who by faith placed her life, and lives of her loved ones, in the hand of God of Israel. The story teaches much about the process of evangelism for both the believer and the lost. Thus, we can learn from that example. So we return to Joshua 2 and add Luke 10 as we focus again on: how God uses us to reach lost people in our sphere of influence. Let me PRAY with you and we’ll move forward.
- THE PROCESS OF EVANGELISM IN THE LIFE OF RAHAB. (Josh. 2:1-24)
- 1.) READ 2:1. The story begins with Joshua sending spies out to learn the “lay of the
land,” which we will see includes discovering the attitudes of the people the Israelites are about to encounter. As they go into the city they immediately come into contact with Rahab. As we mentioned last week, her home was built into the wall around Jericho (vs.15) and was probably a lodging place or an inn located just inside the city gates. Such circumstances and what follows indicate it is highly unlikely the meeting was coincidental, but rather providential, predetermined by God. That appears to be the the basic principle for evangelism: a God-ordained meeting. The word of strangers coming into the city, especially since the entire nation of Israel was camped just east of the River Jordan, was very significant. So the king sent soldiers to find them and they went to the lodging place of Rahab at the gate and sought her help. READ vs.4-5. Rahab lied to the soldiers, putting her life at risk, in order to preserve the life of the spies. WHY??
2.) We find the answer in vss. 9-11. READ. Rahab had heard the stories of the work of God among the Israelites and it convinced her He was not a weak god like those her people worshiped, but was, in fact, THE GOD over all things. She helped the spies for at least two (2) reasons: a.) Something in her recognized she needed to change her life. She could never do so in Jericho, because her reputation and economic well-being would not allow it. And, the gods of that place, in her mind, could not help her. She was trapped in sin. b.) The stories she had heard about Israel’s God, touched her heart. Was it fear? Maybe. Apparently others in the city feared. But, it clearly was also hope. Listen to vss. 13-14 (READ). Rahab believed the God of Israel could and would deliver her and her family from destruction. She was willing to receive Him as her own God and says so to the spies. This is a second principle for evangelism: a raw faith born of righteous fear and earnest hope come sinto the heart of a lost person. It is “raw faith” because it is not greatly informed or developed in any deep theological reasoning. It has come into the heart of the person, not through convincing, but through conviction. God convicted her of her need to repent and of His ability to help her. It came by hearing about God and His work, and produced repentance, When the spies arrived, Rahab already had that desire within her. So what part did the spies play??
3.) Let’s READ vss. 14-21. Notice two (2) things: a.) The spies assured Rahab that her decision was correct and her request would be granted. Her works gave life to her faith (as James tells us in Jm. 2). That does not mean she was saved by works. First of all, the whole event was orchestrated by God, not the people involved. There was no chance of salvation without His involvement. Second, only God could have led Rahab to repentance, a necessary requisite to salvation. What she required from the spies was not to let her accept salvation, but to be accepted. She asked God to accept her. Acceptance came, not by what she had done, but because her faith , that God had led her to, led her to do it. It was all grace! b.)The spies directed her into what steps she must do to further develop. Again these are not independent works she must accomplish to be saved. The spies have already assured her that they will “deal kindly with her.” (vs. 14) These are things she must do that will re-enforce her faith. They are acts of obedience, of giving visible testimony to God’s people, that allow them to recognize her faith and to deal with her as one of them. She has already committed herself to God, now she must commit herself to God’s people.
- THE PRINCIPLES SUMMARIZED.
- Let’s now put this process is a clear systemized plan for our use in evangelism:
- Christians are to go and seek God’s plan: The Great Commission says, “Go therefore and make
disciples of all the nations.” Seeking the lost is an act, not merely an intention or a wish, it is an act of obedience, of being intentionally involved.
- God has already called a person to repentance. A lost person has been convicted through
hearing the truth about themselves and their need. They are ready to hear the Gospel. Christians are to be looking for such people so we can learn to recognize them.
- Engage the person in conversation or relational development. Give the person a chance to ask
questions and spend time to gain a hearing. Check their interest and present your case.
- Assure a person of their position in receiving Christ. Since they have stated their willingness to
surrender to God, assure them God will or has received them.
- Call them to connect with other believers so their faith will be publicly accepted and they can
join the community of the saved. Be baptized, or come before the church with testimony, etc… Live as a Christian believer.
The process may not be as clear in some cases, but it is still involved. We as believers, as fishers of men, must learn to identify God’s preparation of a person and our presentation of the truth to satisfy that person’s recognized need: forgiveness and regeneration.
- Now, you may think, “That sounds good, but it may be a stretch of the actual exposition of the story of Rahab. Is it really about evangelism? Well, even though it is in the context of God’s people possessing the Promised Land, it is more directly about a pagan woman coming to give herself to God and to gain at least physical salvation when God’s invasion commences. It is salvation by grace through faith, leading to incorporation into the people of God. But, how does it line up with such ideas in the New Testament?? Let me take you through a New Testament passage that presents the same idea to see if there is a parallel between the two.
III. LUKE 10: 1-17: THE FIRST EVANGELISM CRUSADE.
- I will read this passage through and insert the process just mentioned where I feel it is
- READ LK. 10:1-3. THE LORD COMMANDS HIS FOLLOWERS TO “Go [to the fields]”
- READ 10:4-6. SEEK WHERE GOD HAS PREPARED THE WAY.
- READ 10: 7-9. DEVELOP THE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PEOPLE.
READ 10:10-15. BE HONEST AND NOT DISMAYED OVER THOSE WHO CHOOSE IGNORANCE AND HAVE NO CALLING FROM GOD.
- READ 10: 16. ASSURE THE BELIEVER OF GOD’S ACCEPTANCE.
- READ 10: 17. CELEBRATE WITH GOD’S PEOPLE.
- To me the parallels look obvious, in fact, incredibly so. Both relay the story of a preparation for
the coming of God among what He has promised to His people. Both show His people are to encounter the seekers and bring them to surrender to the Lord. Both set forth a very, very similar process.
The story of Rahab and her encounter with faith is a beautiful example of how God saves people who are otherwise ‘unsaveable,” (which is all of us)! It deals with the going out of God’s people to seek the lost, the calling of God, the planting of seed, the receptive and repentant heart, and the power of faith and the depth of grace. It is, in many ways, the story of us all – both before we are saved and after. It is a lesson worth learning.