A warning not to turn away

Kim Riddlebarger, Senior Pastor at Christ Reformed Church, opened and closed his sermon on Joshua 23 with these comments:

When Moses died, the people of Israel surely thought he could never be replaced. Years later when Joshua says farewell to his people, there can be no doubt that Joshua had shown himself to be a worthy successor to Moses. In fact, Joshua is a true biblical hero in every sense of the term. He was called by God to be covenant mediator. His leadership and skills as a general have been apparent throughout this book. But now as Joshua comes to the end of his life and says goodbye to the nation he has led, he will speak to the people of Israel and exhort them to remain faithful to the covenant God made with them at Mount Sinai. As he gives this speech to the leaders of Israel, Joshua sounds much like Jacob and Moses before him. Joshua is emphatic: The people of Israel must love their covenant LORD. They must do everything within them to obey God’s law. And they must never allow themselves to become enamored with the pagan religions of their Canaanite neighbors. If they obey their covenant Lord, the people of Israel will continue to receive God’s blessings. But if they deviate from God’s ways, they will come under the covenant curses….

…..Just as Joshua warned Israel, so too Paul warns Christians, that in light of all the good things that the LORD your God has promised to you in Christ, why on earth would you want to turn your back on him and shun his love by committing spiritual adultery, either through embracing a pagan religion or through marrying a non-Christian? To do so is to mock the very promise of God. God freely gives us all things in Christ. He has saved us from our sins and given us a perfect righteousness. And he also warns us that as Christians we will still be attracted to things which lead to disaster. Israel was instructed to “remember all the good things that the LORD God promised.” Christians are instructed that “we are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers.” Why, because we are the bride of Christ, who loved us and gave himself for us. He laid down his life for us. How then can we turn our backs on him?

To read the entire sermon, click here:

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