Welcome to the Truth Network Podcast. We're going to stop right there and to think, I wonder how many here it would be said that God is not well pleased with. You ever thought about that in a group setting? I wonder how many of us God's not real pleased with right now. Notice what it says here, but with many of them God was not well pleased for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples. Now that's a key word right there. That ought to just perk our ears up. All right, so we've been given an example.
This is a teaching opportunity. God is getting ready to share some things that have already happened for us to learn from so that these things don't happen to us. That's what an example is all about. Look at verse 6, to the intent we should not, what? This begins the list that they did that we are given the example so that we won't do. That we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters as were some of them.
As it is written the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication as some of them committed and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. That was a bad day wasn't it? Neither let us tempt Christ, we talked about that this morning, as some of them also tempted and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye as some of them also murmured. Wow, we're getting close to home now aren't we?
Ouch! And were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for in samples. That's another word for example. And so we find that he begins to say here are the examples and when he gets done he reminds us these were just the examples.
Don't you think that God somehow wants to get a point over to us? I'm getting ready to give you some examples. He gives it then he says I just gave you some examples.
So we got the hint right? We were given the examples. Notice if you would and they are written, why? For our, notice this in verse 11, our admonition. This is mild rebuke upon whom the ends of the world are come. In other words he's saying these were written to us so that we can learn from these because now we have to reach people because time is running out. And he said this that these were given as an example for admonition.
In other words right now I am mildly rebuking because you've had some issues in this and these are your examples of folks that did this and what it did to them and so these are your examples and I am mildly warning you right now because I don't want to have to discipline you. You know God is a merciful God. It's amazing to me to think of how many opportunities God has given me. How much mercy he has shown me.
How many times he has mildly rebuked only to later have to discipline me because I would not listen. Am I the only heathen in here? Or do we all fail like that sometimes? Notice what he says, wherefore, verse 12, now we get to the point. Wherefore, let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man.
But God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able but will with the temptation also make a way to escape that ye may be able to bear it. Wherefore, in other words here's another point mate, my dearly beloved, he's setting them up isn't he? It's like down south we say whatever we want as long as we say bless your heart. Or I'll tell you how we do oftentimes like you know, you all pray for them. We criticize, rip them up one point in another, boy I love them though, bless their heart. And we think we're a Christian brother and sister don't we?
I love this. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, you are dear to me and you are loved, this is what I'm telling you to do, flee from idolatry. Read that again, flee from idolatry.
You know what's amazing? Most people have no idea what he's even talking about. We're going to deal with that tonight. And then verse 15 he kind of sets them up again, I love this reverse psychology. I speak as to wise men, judge ye what I say. In other words, if you're smart, you'll listen to what I'm saying. Let's pray, Lord we love you and Lord as we again dig into this difficult subject of temptation.
It's difficult to hear, it's difficult to admit, but Lord we need it. And Lord I pray you'd help me tonight in Jesus' name, amen. Let me make just a couple quick comments and also I want you to understand as we're given reference here of things that happen to the children of Israel, I want to show you the cross references exactly where they're talking about because we've got to be able to understand all that that he gives all the way, obviously beginning through verse 11. To understand all that we need to understand it all so that we can understand what he tells us in verses 12 through 15.
That's the instruction. He gives us the examples and we've got to understand those things. In other words, we have to understand what happened to them so that we can understand how we keep that from happening to us.
Does that make sense? First thing I noticed in verse 10, look at verse 10 if you will. It says, Neither murmur ye as some of them also murmured and were destroyed of the destroyer. We're talking about the children of Israel here. Do you find it amazing that while the children of Israel were in captivity for all those years they never murmured and God gives them freedom and they start complaining. Through all those years of trial and captivity and oppression, they kept talking about how faithful God will one day take us to the promised land and then God takes them and they start complaining.
And God says this happened to them, it can happen to you, and it can happen to me. Now I want you to notice verse 7. Verse 7, Neither be ye idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, remember that again from this morning, it is written that people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.
Now hold your place, now just real quickly tonight I want you to do a little bit of turning because I want you to see what we're looking at. Hold your place, go to Exodus chapter 32. And Exodus chapter 32 is really the cross reference for this verse and verse 8. But we're going to read Exodus chapter 32.
I want you to get this, it's very important, I know sometimes you lose people when you begin to jump around through scripture, but you need to understand this for those of you that are interested in temptation. Exodus chapter 32, look at verse 1. And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, remember Moses went up unto the mountain to be with the Lord, to get the Ten Commandments, to kind of make it in language we would understand. The people gathered themselves together unto Aaron and said unto him, up make us gods which shall go before us. For this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, and by the way it was God, not a man. So they were wrong about that.
We want not what has become of him. In other words, hey he's the one that let us out, we've been miserable, we're mad because we don't have the food we want, the drink we want, and here we are wandering in the wilderness and now Moses has gone up to the mountain and we don't know where he's at and he hadn't come back, so they go to the second person in charge, Aaron, and they go to him and they begin to put pressure on him. And they said, listen, you are in charge now, you make us gods so that we can worship some gods, because we don't even know what's happened to Moses. Now, you say, are they crazy? Yes, they're crazy. Last time I checked, people were crazy. There are some that are certified, card-carrying crazy.
None of them are here, but you know what I'm saying. Some of you are like, yeah, I'm looking at one right now preacher, I know, I'm crazy. Now, look at verse 2, and Aaron said unto them, break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, of your daughters, and bring them unto me.
I don't know how much I would say to that, I'm gonna move right on. Verse 3, and all the people break off the golden earrings which were in their ears and brought them unto Aaron, and he received them at their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool after he had made it a molten calf. In other words, he makes a solid gold cow, basically, and that's gonna be their god. And they said, these be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
What? Now, notice verse 5, and when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it, and Aaron made proclamation, and said, tomorrow is a feast to the Lord, and they rose up early on the morrow and offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings, and the people sat down to eat and to drink and rose up to play. That's the cross reference we just read in 1 Corinthians 10. And the Lord said unto Moses, go get thee down for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves.
Now, you can go right back to 1 Corinthians 10. What is interesting, God says, they corrupted themselves. It wasn't the culture that corrupted them.
They corrupted themselves. Dear friend, you and I have got to get to the point that we just admit it when we've done wrong, it's our fault. When we've backslidden, when we've gone a guilty distance away from God, when we've let the world into our life and in our homes and our churches, we need to quit blaming culture and quit blaming this, and it's this person's fault and that person. Well, it's just, Satan's just, no, let me tell you something, we have corrupted ourselves. It's our fault. There's nobody else to blame.
And until we ever get there and admit that, we'll never get any better. Verse 8, cross reference, same passage, Exodus 32, and it goes on for some further verses for sake of time. Look at verse 9, if you will. The next thing he says they did, neither let us tempt Christ as some of them also tempted and were destroyed of serpents. Now, you can turn here.
Last one I'm going to have you turn to for sake of time. But in Numbers 21, beginning in verse 1, just through verse 6, it gives this instance. Now listen, and when King Arad the Canaanite, which dwelt in the south, heard tell that Israel came by the way of the spies, that he fought against Israel and took some of them prisoners. And Israel vowed a vow unto the Lord and said, If thou wilt indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities. Here they are bargaining with God.
There's verse 3. And the Lord hearkened to the voice of Israel and delivered up the Canaanites. They said, God, if you'll do this, we'll do this. And God kept up his end of the bargain.
And as usual, man doesn't. Now notice, and they utterly destroyed them and their cities. And he called the name of the place Hormah, and they journeyed from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea to come past the land of Edom. And the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. And the people spake against God, who had just given them the victory by the way. The people spake against God and against Moses. Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?
Boo, boo, boo. For there is no bread. You can see right now why that the children of Israel were like they were. Because they had been eating low carb for years. And they were just angry. Anybody else know how angry you get when you hadn't had carbs for a long time?
But anyway, okay. For there is no bread, neither is there any water. I just lost half of you, didn't I? And our soul loathest this light bread.
Don't I know it? Oh, I'm going to lose all of them if I keep going. Lord, help me stay on point. Verse, verse six, and the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people and much people of Israel died. Between the worshiping the golden calf and God disciplining them and the murmuring that God had to discipline them from, 23,000 were killed in one day. Now, what's the point preacher?
Now you understand, this is the cross reference. This is what happened to the children of Israel. And if you'll notice, beginning in verse six, he says that they lusted after evil things. Verse seven, they became idolaters. Verse eight, they committed fornication. Verse nine, they tempted Christ. Verse 10, they murmured.
These are all the things that they did. And God says as he comes to this point in verse 12, wherefore? In other words, this is all here for a reason. Look at verse 11 again before we dig into this. Now all these things happened unto them for in samples and they are written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come. Number one, what is God teaching us in verse 12, 13, and 14 that is supposed to help us with this subject of temptation so that we do not make the same mistakes that the children of Israel made. Number one, very simple, and I'll let you go to it.
Number one is this, remember you can fall. Look at verse 12. Wherefore, let him that thinketh he standeth take heed, lest he fall. What is interesting in verse five, the Bible says that there are many of them that God was not well pleased with, why? Because verse five says that they were overthrown in the wilderness.
They were overtaken. Now listen to me, I want you to give this in verse one through four. Notice what God says here about them. It says that they all had the same spiritual influences. They all got to see the same miraculous work of God. They had all experienced the miracle of the Red Sea. They had all experienced the miracle of manna. They had all experienced the miracle of water coming from the rock. They had all experienced the pillar of fire, obviously, and the cloud that followed them. They had experienced all these things. The Bible said they all ate the same spiritual meat and they all drank the same spiritual drink from the rock which was Christ.
That means this, they all heard the same, they all had the same opportunity, but many of them fell. And I'm here to tell you, just because you're in a good church, because you've heard good preaching your entire life, and because you can open up your Bible and you can show a hundred good preachers that have signed your Bible. And by the way, I think it's a great practice you go to hear people get them to sign your Bible. And I'm going to tell you something about man and human beings. You get your Bible signed enough over the years, you're going to have to cross a few out later. Because us men fall.
And dear friend, if you and I ever get to the point where we think that we are past being able to fall, we are in trouble. Notice, listen, you got to look at this verse. Notice what the Bible says. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth. The Bible says wherefore let him that standeth.
It doesn't say that. It says let him that thinketh he standeth. That means God knows it's not really the case, but you and I think we're okay. You and I think we're strong enough. We think it's okay if we do such and such, it's not going to hurt us.
We think it's okay if we participate in such and such because it's not going to hurt us. And dear friend, the more you and I think that we are beyond falling, the closer we're getting to falling. We need to remember that we can fall. Now look at this verse, and I thought this was interesting, verse 12. That word thinketh means to be of the opinion of or of the reputation. That means let him that thinketh he standeth means an individual that feels and has earned the reputation of not falling. In other words this, I have held it for long enough and I have really proven myself and I've been consistent. Bless God, I've been in church for years.
And they literally think I've got the reputation of being godly. What is interesting, that word stand means to be established. So let him that thinketh he standeth, means let him that thinks he has the reputation of being established. And there's a lot of people that think they're established, they think they've heard it all, seen it all, done it all, bought a t-shirt. They've been there and they think they know everything about the Bible, they know all the things and they are not gonna fall.
They've been far enough now, no way they're gonna mess up. And dear friend, that is very unwise for us to ever think. That word, he says take heed lest he fall. That word he means to beware, to look. What is interesting, and this amazed me, that word fall and you just get you a Strong's Bible Concordance and you can look up the word and find the definitions of these Bible words, anything like that, you can get them on a smartphone, on a tablet, whatever the case might be. But listen to me, that word fall here has the idea of the sun going down, the sun falling.
Now let me tell you why this really amazed me. How does the sun go down? Gradually. You know how you and I fall? Gradually. Let me tell you something friends, don't ever think because you hear somebody whatever and you think, well man alive, they are such a good person, man one day, nuh-uh.
That went on in their heart a long time ago. You and I fall gradually, just like the sun slowly goes down and disappears. That's exactly the way you and I mess up and that's exactly the way Satan tempts us and gets us. We begin a little bit and a little bit and we change a little here and a little there and we slip a little bit here and a little bit there and before long we find out that we have absolutely gone around that we never thought we'd go because we've gone down gradually.
I remember years ago we had a preacher here at Kerwin and I heard other preachers use this illustration but I say him because he was here when he did it. But he talked about going fishing and he talked about that when they went out fishing kind of doing some deep-sea fishing that they kind of pulled up by one of the markers, the buoy markers that they have out there and he said we kind of and cut the boat off and he said we didn't anchor anything. We were just kind of floating and got right there.
They're probably about 10-15 feet away from that buoy, you know and they're out there fishing and different things. He says, you know, never even noticed it. You know, the waves just kind of doing this number and he said, you know, a couple guys got sick here and there.
We're just out fishing having a good time. He said all of a sudden I turned around and I couldn't even see that buoy. He said we had just moved gradually so far away from it and I never even knew that we had moved away from it. That's exactly what happens to your relationship with God. It happens so gradually and you think you're okay. You think that I'm standing. We think that we're fine and all of a sudden we look around and we say, man, I'm a long way away from God because it happened gradually.
Remember you can fall. Please, remember what verse five? They were overthrown in the wilderness. People that had firsthand experienced the miracles of God were reduced to idol worshipers because the Bible says obviously that we sent you to in Numbers that their way became difficult. Before long they're worshipping a golden chunk of cow that was man-made.
You say, how could they do that? Oh dear friend, you and I can too. By the way, I know a lot of people that they're not worshipping some golden cow but they're worshipping a lot of other things.
They're worshipping a whole bunch of stuff keeps them out of God's house and keeps them away from a relationship with God. That's just become the priority in their lives. Dear friend, you and I have got to watch it. Now please don't think I'm being hard tonight but remember this is a hard subject of temptation and we've got to be honest. Remember you can fall. Number two, that he teaches us here in these verses in verse 13. Remember God is faithful. Remember you can fall. Secondly, remember God is faithful.
Look at verse 13. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man. In other words you're not the first to go through this. You're not the first one to face this. You can't sit there and say well I fell because nobody else has had to be tempted like I was and nobody else faced something like this. Oh yeah they had. And there's been people that fell when they faced it and there's been people that conquered it when they faced it too.
It's common. Now notice this. But God is faithful. Who will and he lives as three things. Alright God's faithful preacher.
Now what does that mean? Well God is faithful in three areas. Notice here number one God is faithful to limit.
Notice what it says. He will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able. God will limit the temptation that you face to the point that he will not allow more temptation than you are able to say no to. Now you and I still might fall to that temptation but it wasn't because it was too much temptation for us.
It was because we had too much flesh in us and we fell to it. God, and by the way he doesn't owe this to us but God because he's a wonderful loving God he literally controls and limits the amount of temptation that you and I are put under. That ought to comfort you tonight that you know what I'm gonna tell you something. You might face some horrible things this week but you will face nothing that you can't stay right through.
You will face nothing this week that you can't stay clean through. And if you and I don't it's our fault not his. But he will not allow more on us than we can bear. That ought to excite you about God by the way. By the way if he didn't limit it Satan would eat us up.
Now we'd still go to heaven but I'm gonna tell you something if we're saved we're saved but I'm gonna tell you something Satan would absolutely ruin our lives because we're no match for him. If God did not have that limiting power Satan would ruin us because that's what he wants to do anyway. God is faithful to limit. Second God is faithful to loose.
Notice what he says. He will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able but will with the temptation also make a way to what? Escape to get loose from it. God will not put you in a scenario that you can't get out of. God will not put you in a corner or allow Satan to put you in a corner that you have no way to get away from that. God always makes a way of escape.
That ought to comfort us too right? He puts that limiting power where he only allows Satan to do so much and he also keeps that power that he always makes a way for us to escape. We cannot use the excuse well it's just I have a good heart and well I've just been emotionally fragile, I've been tired, I've just gone through a lot and oh dear friend God knows exactly what you've gone through and he has still given a way of escape if you wish to take it. Now you're looking at a preacher that at times has not taken the way of escape. We've all sinned, we've all been tempted, we've all fallen. But I'm gonna tell you something I've never faced a temptation that I could have said no to because I could've. God will not allow us to be tempted above that we're able and he will always give a way of escape.
Number three. God is faithful not only to limit, to loose, but to lift. Notice what he says at the end of the verse. He will but with a temptation also make a way to escape that ye may be able to what?
Bear it. What I find interesting in this verse brings us to point number three. Point number three is this. You have to number one remember you can fall. Number two remember God is faithful.
Number three remember when to flee. What does he say in verse 14? Wherefore my dearly beloved flee from idolatry. Now here's what's interesting in verse 13. God says that I will give you a way of escape that ye may be able to bear it. He did not say I will give you a way of escape that ye may be able to fight it. Dear friend look at me. You and I spend too much time trying to figure out how we're going to fight temptation.
Let me tell you something. You and I are not equipped nor were we ever meant to fight temptation. God made us and begs us and pleads with us and makes it clear to us that you and I are to flee temptation.
We are to get away from it. God does not want you if you've always struggled with alcohol. God does not want you to learn how to fight it so that you can go sit in a bar and be around people and it not affect you.
No, God made you so that you'll stay away from a bar. God did not give us a way to escape so that we could stay and fight it. What do you think a way of escape is?
A way of escape is for you to get away from it because God knows if you stay around it you're going to fall and I'm going to fall because we're flesh, we're human and we're limited so God makes a way of escape not for us to stay and fight it but to get away from it. That's why I preached two years ago. You're struggling, men, you're struggling something on the internet. You go home, take a sledge hammer to that computer. Best thing you'll ever do. Oh yeah, but I do pay my bills online. Well, go back to checks if you have to.
I'd rather have to go to a gas station and get a money order than lose my wife, family and kids and everything else. Dear friend, you don't have to figure out how I can fight this temptation and how I can still be around it and still do. No, let me tell you something. You get away from it. If you're around a bunch of friends and you do wrong when you get around them and you say, well, I need to, God's going to have to help me so I can. No, you get away from them. Don't trust yourself.
Bible says put no confidence in the flesh and that's why it says wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. Get away from it. Don't even flirt with it. Don't piddle with it. Don't try to figure out how to fight it. The best way to fight it is to leave.
Get out of there. Thank you for listening today. We hope you received a blessing from our broadcast. The Kerwin Baptist Church is located at 4520 Old Hollow Road in Kernersville, North Carolina. You may also contact us by phone at 336-993-5192 or via the web at kerwinbaptistchurch.com. Enjoy our services live and all our media on our website and church app. Thank you for listening to the Kerwin broadcast today. God bless you.
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