Intro: Ill. Once upon a time, a rather rough and uncultured man fell in love with a beautiful vase in a store window for some reason. He eventually bought the vase and put it on his room's mantelpiece. It developed into a sort of assessment of its
surroundings there. In order for the room to be worthy of the vase, he had to clean it up. Nearby, the curtains appeared dingy. It would not work to use the old chair with the stuffing sticking out of the seat. Both the paint and the wallpaper needed to be redone. The entire room underwent gradual transformation. Your entire life changes when you place Christ on your heart's mantel. In the second chapter of Joshua, we see exactly this kind of transformation. The great walled city of Jericho would be the first city the Israelites would have to confront as they prepared to enter Canaan and claim their promised land. If they were able to take this city, they would easily be able to divide the country in half and move on to conquer the north and south from there. Joshua sends spies to the city to gauge the people's mood and determine whether or not they are prepared for war before they begin the task of defeating Jericho. These spies went to a harlot's house when they entered Jericho. Why? Well, men entering a harlot's house wouldn't really draw a lot of attention. Would it then? These two men must have been quite shocked by what they discovered when they entered Rahab's home. They discovered a woman who had been transformed by God's power. They met Rahab, but they discovered that she wasn't the same girl as before! Rahab serves as an illustration for us of the Lord Jesus' ability to transform any life that comes to Him through faith. We will see today how, through His power and grace, the Lord transforms sinners who place their faith in Him. If you are saved, rejoice in the significant transformation that Jesus has brought about in your life as I preach this message this morning. Allow the Lord to speak to your heart this morning if you are not a child of God, and you will be saved today. As we consider the idea, "She's Not the Girl She Used To Be!" this morning, let's look at these verses. I. V. 1 RAHAB, THE CALL GIRL A. Her spiritual state: Rahab was a harlot. She sold her body to men for money as part of her wicked lifestyle. Her life was sinful and wicked. (Ill.) She is a representation of every person today who is lost in sin. Even though you may not be a harlot, you are still lost in sin and require a new birth if you have never trusted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. It is sad but true that everyone is a sinner—Romans 3:23; Gal. 3:22. In today's world, if you are not in Christ, you are helpless and without hope—Eph. 2:1-3; Eph. 2:12.) B. Her Spiritual Despair: She lived in a city that was going to be destroyed! Jericho's demise was already determined by God! Despite the fact that God had already sentenced them and they were doomed to destruction, I'm sure the people in their city felt fairly secure and confident. Even though they didn't think they were in great danger, the people of Jericho were doomed nonetheless! (Ill. The sinner is in the same boat this morning! The lost person might feel safe right now and not think he's in any danger. However, according to John 3:18, the Bible, the lost are already condemned. John 3:36 reveals that they remain under God's wrath. It reveals to us that their ultimate fate is to spend eternity in Hell, being forever cut off from God's presence, Psa. 9:17; 2 Thes. 1:8-9. We're talking about your future, my friend, if you're lost! C. God's Spiritual Love - Pay attention to verse 10 The spies, according to Rahab, learned about the events in Egypt and the kings they had defeated along the way. They had left Egypt forty years earlier. The city had been spared by God for that amount of time, and they still had several more days before they were judged. Rahab had experienced God's mercy and patience in allowing her time to believe. (Ill. Friend, how long have you been given by the Lord? How many times has He called at the door of your heart? How often has He pleaded with you to believe? How many times has the Lord called you, saved ones, before you responded in faith? We serve a gracious God! However, those who are lost should exercise extreme caution when relying on God's grace. Gen. 6:3 makes it abundantly clear in the Bible that a person's patience in calling the lost to come to Him for salvation is limited. John 6:44; Isa. 55:6; Pro. 27:1; Pro. 29:1. Refusing to come to the Lord is dangerous! Don't put it off any longer if you've been putting it off and waiting for something! While He is calling you, come to Jesus!) I. Rahab, the second call girl V. 2-11 RAHAB, THE CHANGED GIRL A. V. 10-11 She Heard The Word - Rahab heard about Israel's God. She heard a message of judgment, but it also showed her the real, living God. She received a message of life in the message that came. (Ill. My friends, a message of life is still being spread all over the world. The only message that can transform the worst sinner into a new creation is this one. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is that message. This message teaches us about a loving God who sent His only begotten Son to die on a cross for our sins. In order to pay for our sins, this Son endured terrible pain and shed His blood. The man who gave his life for us on that cross then rose from the dead three days later to grant eternal life to all who would call upon His name, 1 Cor. 15:3-4. You need to hear this message right now. It is the only message that can save a sinner from eternal damnation! B. V. 9-11 She Heeded the Word - Rahab not only heard the message, but she also listened to it. Rahab responded with faith in response to this message. What she says about God demonstrates that she believed the message. She refers to Him as "the LORD" in verse 9, using His covenant name, Jehovah. She declares her faith in Him as THE God of heaven and earth in verse 11. As she asks God to witness the agreement she is about to make with the spies in verse 12, she once more demonstrates her faith in Him. Even Hebrew 11 tells us about Rahab's faith in the great Hall of the Faithful in verse 31. She believed the message and carried it out. (Ill.) My friends, in order to bring the lost person to Jesus, exactly this must occur in their life. They must first hear the message and then act on it by believing in Jesus as their Savior. "Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God," according to Romans 10:17. In the life of a believer, salvation becomes a reality as the gospel message is heard and believed in. Please allow me to remind you this morning that you cannot be saved if you believe in anything other than Jesus. You are lost if you are rusting the sinner's prayer to be saved. You are lost and require a new birth if you place your faith in anything other than Jesus and Him alone, such as church membership or baptism. I implore you to take a look inside your heart right now and figure out what it is that you believe will get you to heaven. Which is it? You are His, so rejoice if it's Jesus. You are headed to Hell if you do anything else, so repent!!) I. Rahab, the second call girl Rahab: The Third Converted Girl. V. 12-22 RAHAB THE COMPLETED GIRL (Ill.) Rahab's life was forever altered when she believed in the real and living God! God worked a miracle of love and grace on her. Since He has no regard for people, He can also do for you what He did for Rahab. He used her extremely effectively. He can also use you!) The Evidence of Her Completion 1 in A. V. 12-22 V. 1–7 She Worked for the Lord: Rahab's involvement in the Lord's work is one of the strongest indications that she was truly converted. She disguised and concealed the spies. We must view her lie as "the lesser evil for the greater good" rather than condoning it. Rahab might even have stopped being a harlot. According to verse 6, she hid the spies beneath some roof-mounted flax. Linen was manufactured with flax. Before the spies arrived, she clearly had faith in the Lord. Before they arrived, the power of God may have radically altered her life as well. Even James uses her in James 2:25 as an illustration of a believer who demonstrates their salvation through life's works. (Whether we like it or not, my friends, the work of our lives demonstrates the truth of our profession, according to James 2:18! We can say whatever we want, but our actions reveal who we really are! A life that is dedicated to the Lord Jesus will want to participate in God's activities! Matt: Your life's fruit demonstrates your life's origin. 7:20! After all, when Jesus saves our souls, He says that we were made to do good deeds, Eph. 2:10. Works cannot save, but they can certainly identify those who can! 2. V. 12-13, "She Loved the Lost," reveals that Rahab is worried about the other members of her family who are also in danger. She now understands that God will look after her. She desires the same level of security for her family. She is moved to ask for their assistance. When she told her family about her plan, just imagine the danger she put herself in. (Ill.) Rahab represents the person who comes to faith in Christ in this aspect of her life. When someone is saved, one of the first things they do is want to share their faith with others. Take note of John 1:15–42; Mark 5:18-20. A desire to share the gospel with others is one of the most reliable indicators of salvation. Rahab demonstrated her salvation. Can we say the same for ourselves?) B. The Benefits of Her Success She received a number of priceless possessions as a result of her faith in the Lord God of Israel. Take note of how God blessed this former harlot's new life with His greatest blessings. Josh. 6:20–25 She Discovered a New Freedom She was spared the devastation that engulfed her city because of her faith. In addition, no one else in her house was hurt! One section of Jericho's walls appears to have remained standing after they collapsed flat. It was the section that housed Rahab's house. A scarlet rope that hung from her window marked the location, verse 18. (Ill. Look at the picture here. A new believer is immediately delivered from Hell, the punishment for his sins, when he places his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Rom. 5:9! Jesus gives him a new freedom that lets him live while others around him die. In addition, our life is recognized by God because of the blood of Jesus that has been applied to our souls by faith, just as Rahab's house was marked by a scarlet rope in verse 18. Israel was told by that rope that Rahab had believed in God and would live. The Father knows that we have placed our faith in His Son and that we will also be spared thanks to the blood of Jesus! Folks, the difference is made by the blood! I Pet. 1:18-19; Rev. 1:5.) (Ill. When the death angel passed through Egypt, the firstborn were spared by the blood of a lamb. This morning, the blood of Jesus is what differentiates Heaven from Hell for each of us!) 2. Josh. 6:25; Matt. 1:5; When all of these verses are taken together, the remainder of Rahab's story can be found in Ruth 4:21. She married into the Israel people and received all of the Lord's blessings from the covenant. She went from belonging to a nation that was judged to belonging to a nation that was holy! (Ill.) The same is true for the lost person who believes that Jesus can save them. They undergo an instantaneous transformation from sinner to saint. They no longer fall under God's curse; rather, they become God's children. As a result, they take part in everything the Lord has planned for His children here, 1 Corinthians 2:9, and they become a part of the things that He has for His children up there, John 14:1–3. The point is that while the other neighbors of Rahab perished in the war, she survived and attended a wedding! Child of God, you and I, people who deserve only death and judgment, will one day be the honored guests at a wedding in the sky, according to Rev. 19:7-9. According to 1 John 3:2, when we were saved, we became a new family.) 3. Matt. 1:5 She Became a New Star: Rahab was expelled from the house of shame and placed in the hall of fame. This woman became the Lord Jesus Christ's ancestor. In point of fact, she was Ruth's mother-in-law and David's great-great-grandmother. God brought her out of the pit and made her famous for ever. This sinner who trusted Him was included in His eternal plan. (Ill.) The Lord can and will do for you what He did for Rahab! You might think that because you have been so wicked, God wouldn't want you. The fact of the matter is that the Lord loves you exactly as you are and will take you, save you, and transform your life into one of blessing and glory for His glory. You have to understand that, according to 1 Corinthians, God specializes in rescuing old, lost sinners through His grace, using them to change the world through His power. 1:26-29. The end result is as follows: Today, God has the power to change your life and use you for His glory. While He won't make you an ancestor of Christ like He did with Rahab, you can rest assured that if you let the Lord use your life, you will become an ancestor of new believers. While they won't know who you are in Heaven, you won't become famous here! Imagine entering Heaven to be greeted by people whom you referred to Jesus! Conc: Well, it's clear that Rahab is no longer the same person! Dear friend, how are you doing? Are you truly saved right now? If you were to pass away right now and stand before the Lord, He would ask, "Why should I let you into my Heaven?" as you looked up and down at Him. Would you say anything? Could you say, "Father, I ought to be permitted entry into Heaven because I placed my faith in Jesus Christ, in His shed blood, and in His resurrection from the dead, as a sinner?" Other than my faith in Christ, I have no other claim." My buddy. You need to come this morning and put your faith in Jesus as your Savior if your response is anything else. You need to be saved, and I can assure you that this morning there is grace in Christ to save your soul! Friends who are Christians, many of you have not lived up to your God-given potential. Do you need to come right now to make amends with God? Those in need are welcome to use this altar. Rahab, an old harlot, was saved by grace by God, and He used her for His glory. He would like to do the same thing for you. Will you come and carry out what He has commanded of you today?

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