Summary: The second sermon in a series on ’Heaven and Earth’ (bringing God’s reign on earth) addressing the issue of how Christians and Churches so often lose their call, power, and settle into ’maintenance mode’- and how this can be avoided.

Heaven & earth 2: Mission, maintenance or monument? ("they occupied and settled" Josh 13:1-5, 24:31)

1 Collapse

1.1 last week: Adam and Eve, humankind

1.1.1 planted into enemy occupied territory

1.1.2 given commission to ’claim it for the king’

1.1.3 call is still the same- take territory back for God

1.1.4 now territory is ’spiritual’

1.2 After Egypt brought out with signs & wonders.

1.2.1 Joshua & his generation eventually enter.. take.. much of promised land

1.2.2 People followed God!

1.2.3 generation that sees God’s deeds are ’changed people’

1.3 ’lost it’ after Joshua & generation of leaders. Why?

1.3.1 next generation rationalises, builds walls, monuments to it

1.4 has ’form’ but no ’power’

1.4.1 builds tombs to prophets

1.4.2 keeps them in the past

2 Cause?

2.1 why?

2.2 Joshua did his bit

2.2.1 ’be bold’ Josh 1. Take land from ’ites’

2.3 but land wasn’t completely taken

2.3.1 Josh 13:1 ’still land to be taken over’ (same spec, land)

2.3.2 wasn’t taken for 400 years. David

2.4 Joshua tried to pas baton but

2.4.1 they dropped it

2.4.2 ’settled down & built houses’

2.5 ’occupied and SETTLED’. Josh 19 ff

2.5.1 rather than occupied and ADVANCED

2.5.2 played safe

2.5.3 maintained what they had

2.5.4 occupied & got comfortable rather than occupied to ADVANCE

2.6 ’inheritance’

2.6.1 each generation should pass on to the next

2.6.2 prev. gen’s. ceiling should become next’s floor!

2.6.3 many movements are ’parentless’- only have gt-grandparents. Parents ’lost it’!

2.7 missed God’s call/commission

2.7.1 hence decline

2.7.2 ’peace’ is more dangerous than ’war’ (metaphorically!!)

ask David! 2 Sam 11:1

2.7.3 can’t ’maintain what you have’- will lose it

ask the man with the one talent

can’t ’guard’, ’maintain’, ’keep’

’fortress mentality’ means you’ve lost it

many call it ’hungering for heaven’ but it is in fact ’maintaining what they have’- a cop out

2.7.4 lose your mission, lose everything!

2.8 Our call, christianity, is for the ’edge’ not the sofa!

2.8.1 for mission not maintenance or making monuments to the past

2.9 Our assignent

2.9.1 is to take the world for Jesus

2.9.2 never changes

2.9.3 is not over till it’s complete

2.9.4 is not to GO to heaven, but to BRING heaven

heaven is my destination, but not my assignment

2.10 If you forget the call- you’ll pay the price

2.10.1 lose your soul (fire)

2.10.2 infighting. Pickiness over issues that don’t matter

2.10.3 Israel had a history of S&W but when they failed to have a task, enemy, calling, conquest of own- failed to have miracles

3 Contemporary examples

3.1 miraculous till 4th century

3.1.1 Scripts distributed, alive and ’lived’

3.1.2 edict of toleration, canon formed

3.1.3 in many bits miraculous ceased

3.1.4 now some use the Bible to disprove one of its major thrusts

’when the perfect comes’

dreadful thing to do to the scriptures! (even though we don’t see much)

3.2 denominations

3.2.1 not criticising them!

have preached in virtually every church in city

I LOVE the church. Being in baptist ch

3.2.2 but virtually all denominations: man> mission> movement> maintaining> monument

build tombs to their ’saints’, venerate them

but keep them in the past!

’have to KEEP what we’ve got’. Maintenance

stand against what birthed them



3.2.3 all need to rediscover our MISSION

4 commission

4.1 it’s the same: take the world

4.2 I’ll give you every place you put your feet

4.3 the choice challenge, balance

4.3.1 occupying & settling down

lose ability to live on edge, risk

avoid discomfort

avoid being ’as sheep before wolves’!

choose: safety, control

4.3.2 keeping your fire (maturely!)- occupying and advancing





5 close

5.1 dropped baton from prevous generation? (Cf 2 tim 1:5, Lois, Eunic)

5.2 need to pass on to current generation?

5.3 ’settled down & built houses’?

5.4 love God’s power, work- as long as it’s in the past?!

5.5 flame gone out? Missed the mission?

5.6 re-kindle it- and remember the assignment is the same

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