Why the Church needs Rahab

by | Apr 14, 2024 | Podcast, Sermons

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Preacher: Pastor Chuck Holiday

Scripture: Joshua 2

Not only was Israel a gift to Rahab and her family but Rahab the prostitute was a gift to Israel. She became an honored mother of Israel and mother in law to Ruth and great grandmother to David. When the church fails to reach the tax collectors and prostitutes we are in danger of falling into self righteousness and blind to our own hurtful ways and self reliance.


This is fun haven’t had a Pulpit for gosh 35

years um this is a lot like the uh the room I left in Chicago in

1994 but anyway it is cool hey um I’m impressed by how many of you here either you’re not golf fans or you’re extremely dedicated to uh the worship of the Lord I won’t if you if you you’re checking your phones I won’t uh won’t notice but uh this is a this is a really exciting passage in in Joshua in fact I you know um I think if I had to pick a Which chapter in this book I would most want to preach that would be this one because Rahab is a uh unique and wonderful and important figure in the in the history of uh Israel and such a lesson here for us as a church as we prepare for God’s mission for us uh before we get to that can you imagine what a Deja Vu moment this was for Joshua you know 40 years ago he was one of the spies you know appointed to go into the land with the 12 and he learned a few things didn’t he how many how many did he he send two because out of the 12 that Moses sent only Joshua and Caleb were faithful and and able to believe God’s message and come back with a good report the 10 talked them out of going in so Joshua said I’m not going to do that again we’re tired of committees you know I’m going to appoint the two people that I know will trust God and and uh have the faith to hear from God on this and he knew we needed spies but he he uh knew that sometimes s uh more is not better but anyway um we don’t know anything else about the spies except that they had courage and they they came back with the information they needed but but they’re really minor players in this story because it’s really about it’s about Rahab and God’s uh really it’s about what does God think about

prostitutes and boy isn’t that the question question we have to ask ourselves as a church because I look around and maybe some of you are fooling me but you know I don’t think we have any prostitutes here this night and and you know what that’s too bad that’s really too bad because we are not going to do well if we don’t figure out how to reach the prostitutes and the tax gatherers what what did Jesus

say to the church leaders to the faithful obedient moral people of Israel he said you might get in but if you do it’ll be way behind the tax gatherers and the

prostitutes now you know I’ve preached this a number of times over the years and the message is usually and you can look online at sermons on Joshua and Rahab and the punchline is usually God even saves

prostitutes well you know I don’t think that’s it that is it but it’s more than that God is saying can you find The Prostitute inside of your

heart the message is not that God even would save a prostitute the message is we’re all prostitutes

we all struggle none of us get Sanctified in this life and sin is ugly all of

it some sins are more socially acceptable than others but they’re all evil God calls idolatry adultery throughout the whole old test T he says my people when they are idolators are Unfaithful wives I’m your husband and when you sin you’re you’re cheating on

me I mean it’s it’s kind of shocking really so the message here you know is really um it’s twofold he said we’re all probably worse than we think we are but then the bigger message is what does God do with Rahab he doesn’t just Tucker away in a corner of Israel as we as we see what happens here to what happens to Rahab well she ends up being spared her family is spared they’re brought into Israel and she becomes an honored mother of Israel rahab’s got married to a Godly Israelite they had a boy named Boaz who was the mother I mean Rahab was the mother of Boaz who who married and rescued Ruth another Foreigner a moabitas someone who would be rejected by the people of God and and the story is how does God keep his Godly obedient moral people

kind well he uses people like Rahab who have been on the other side of the street to become the mother of people like Boaz who has an open heart to a foreigner like Ruth without without people like Rahab coming into our church my friends we’ll lose our compassion we’ll lose our sense of humility our Brokenness

it’s not just that Rahab needs the church the church needs Rahab God rescues his people by bringing in the foreigners the broken where would where would think about this of Jesus disciples you know he picked the tax

gatherer right Matthew was

I mean he was on a level with Rahab the tax gatherers and the prostitutes Jesus always mentions them in the same breath because they were the rejected ones they were the despised ones they were the ones that people had no hope for and and so who does Jesus have in his his group of close followers is Mary Magdalene probably a prostitute and and Matthew the tax gatherer where would the church be without John Newton the notorious slave trader yeah we need the John Wesley you know and the Charles Wesley and the you know the the George whitfield’s the The Godly men who were raised in the church but we need the John Newton who were the slave Traders because Grace must always be amazing or or we lose it so my friends this is a important story it’s such an encouraging story God God’s message here is not that there’s there’s even room for Rahab the message is he doesn’t just Tucker away in a corner of Israel he makes her a mother of Israel honored in Israel so you know how does God feel about Rahab how does God feel about prostitutes well he loves them he wants them he includes them he’s not afraid of them

he’s not afraid of what you know one One Bad Apple spoils the whole Barrel God doesn’t think that way now we do if we’re parents and it’s our youth group we’re looking at we don’t want any immoral women in our son’s youth group what would happen to my son my friends God doesn’t think that way God says raise your sons to be mighty Warriors who can who can witness to prostitutes who can show them the love of Christ we we think of keeping ourselves safe keeping ourselves pure by Walling out evil my friends God doesn’t want us to tolerate sin but the way to overcome sin is to not wall it out it’s to it’s to reach toward it to love the world not the not the things of the world but the people of the world I I really do hope that you know this is God has got a big thing for us the the building is a means to what he has for us he has a mission for us like he had a mission for Joshua and the Israelites you know God’s purpose for Israel was never just to keep them pure and separate from the world his promise to Abraham was that in in Abraham all the nations would be blessed that was promised Abraham in your seed all the nations of the earth will be blessed and this is the first beginning um promis fulfilled it’s Rahab bringing in one of the from the Lost Nations she she and and using Rahab through her son Boaz to welcome Ruth who becomes the grandmother of David the the king of Israel who represents Jesus the Messiah what a beautiful story of God using his people to reach the ends of the Earth how much more so for us when when Jesus the the raised Jesus puts his hands out and says now

go to all the world what a beautiful beautiful story it is so um look look at a couple things you know Rahab is worse she represents the fact that we’re probably worse than we really would like to think we are but she also represents the fact that God has a higher um calling for us than we can dare imagine he loves us more than we dare to think you know there are two things that are true about all of us according to the Bible one is our dignity how wonderfully we’re made in God’s image and how de deeply loved the other is our depravity our dignity and our depravity our depravity is we’re worse than we dare imagine we we can’t even fathom the depths of selfishness in our hearts they’re both true now it’s easy to believe one or the other you know um and and probably all of us here struggle more with one than the other some some really have a hard time believing that I’m as bad as right now they have uh it’s probably more of a struggle for most of us to believe that we’re as dearly loved as God says we are it’s like I can feel like God loves me if I don’t look at my sin but if I look at my sin I can’t believe he loves me God says no they’re both true you’re worse than you you could you’ve ever imagined but you’re more dearly loved than you dare to believe because of Jesus because of our righteousness in

Jesus now my friends who killed

Jesus not the prostitutes the prostitutes didn’t kill Jesus the tax collectors didn’t kill Jesus the religious leaders killed Jesus the moral the moral ones killed Jesus I mean the people who dedicated every every moment of every day trying to keep the law

they’re the ones that killed

Jesus because Jesus loved

prostitutes he didn’t honor them for their obedience he talked to them about their Disobedience he said look you you spend so much time trying to be moral and righteous and holy but you don’t know how to be merciful and

kind and you’re Hypocrites you’re blind you tell people to do things that you can’t do

yourself so what’s the greater danger to the

church my friends we need we need

rhabs you know self righteousness is is like bad breath we can’t smell our own we need we we need rhabs because they can smell

it you know none of us feel judged when we come in here you know we feel loved we feel welcome I mean it’s a sweet group I I was awesome over in the fellowship hall and here I mean Debbie and I love being part of this group you know we all get along great but my friends do you do you believe me when I tell you that there are thousands and thousands of people in Jack’s Beach who are afraid to come in here they they’re afraid to come in

here now there may be a

false notion they have because they’ve never been in here but they have been in churches where they felt unwanted now some of it is they don’t know what clothes to wear they don’t know when to stand up when to sit down they don’t know the you know the words of some of the the prayers but it’s but it’s so much deeper than that they they’re afraid of the stairs they’ll get they’re afraid of U being looked down on and so they don’t come because they’re afraid of what would happen if they came in fact we probably most of us probably have some member of our family that would be afraid to come in with with us because of how they might be

treated that they’ll they’ll be a stand out in a bad way

um wouldn’t it be great if God changed that you know wouldn’t it be great if if people knew Church of our savior is a church where anybody can

go anybody can go there and I love

you because they all know their Sinners too you know um I think God’s doing that I I think I think we’re a church that wants to be that kind of church you know I I sense that from from you all you know yeah we we we don’t want people to be afraid of coming here to worship with us we want people to to feel wanted respected valued no matter what their level of intellect no matter how they dress um you know it’s an interesting thing I mean when we were in Orlando we we we were in a we had reached a lot of people that weren’t used to going to church and sometimes you know the only way a lady knew to dress up was to put on her cocktail dress you know the clubbing dress she thought that was dressing up because that was the only nice cloth she had and and uh you know wasn’t always appropriate for church but um but people understood well she’s trying you know she’s trying she doesn’t mean that is disrespectful she’s she’s think she’s doing the best she thinks she knows how to do you know and and it can you know eventually people figure it out they don’t they don’t need a lecture they don’t need a you know heads up they they figure it out after a while oh I guess they don’t wear these kind of clothes here you know and and some people uh come late because they don’t know that everybody gets there early or whatever um some some kids the kids don’t necessarily know how to behave in the children’s program and there’s there’s lots of awkwardness to to um being a church that’s reaching really lost people but but there’s a sweetness that comes with it you know there’s a um worship explodes I mean the praise and worship that comes from from the lips of a somebody who who was a prostitute who found out Jesus loves her I mean it’s pretty cool you know when when people who know they’re broken find out that Jesus loves them it’s contagious you know and it helps the rest of us realize well I wonder where I’m broken I wonder if I wonder uh if maybe there are things in me that I’m not aware of and and you know it just kind of begins to to blend to where the separation between the the people who live Godly and the people who who who didn’t get the message yet you know the distinction gets to be a little more blurred because we begin to realize well we all struggle somewhere in our lives and and and God God loves us and our our righteousness is in Christ and it it could become a wonderful but the only thing that really really uh becomes powerful is the worship and the praise that Jesus gets every Sunday when when everybody knows they’re lost but everybody also knows that but Jesus is my righteousness he did it all now what happens to people like Rahab when they come into church Larry Krab got a great little quote he said he said God loves to welcome people like Rahab to his family dinner table and then he really enjoys watching her change as she eats good

food you know uh what what happens to people like Rahab they they get better you know they realize that prostitution isn’t really what I wanted to do now no little girl when she’s seven or eight years old and and deciding what she wants to do when she grows up thinks well I want to be a prostitute that’s just not how that

works I mean you’re usually born into it frankly very very few very very few people in this industry get there without having been severely harmed early in life it’s not what they want it’s it’s it’s just how they survive like the rest of us we we do what we do to survive you know some of it’s more socially acceptable you know you can be kind of a hard-headed businessman and and get a pass because it’s more socially acceptable but it can be just the same drivenness I just have to do this to survive and take care of my family family okay but at the root at the

core you know we’re all the same aren’t we we we forget that God loves us we forget that our father in Heaven has provided everything for us and we feel like we’re on our own and we got to find some way to survive and then we find Jesus did it all in the Holiness we strive for he said I already I already did the work it’s your gift you’re covered in my in my righteousness my robe of righteousness receive the gift walk in Freedom now you’re free to love people you don’t have to be judgmental you’re free to love people the way I love them may God help us amen

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