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The Sin of Fear - Numbers 13:27 - 14:10

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Purpose: Bring to light the sinfulness of fear in God's people.



1. The Church is facing many problems today.

2. Men are trying to change the church from a divine institution into a man-made institution.

3. All too often, faithful brethren turn an apathetic eye to these occurrences.

4. I'm convinced that one of the reasons these false teachers are not being stopped is fear.

5. Both on the faithful brother's part and the false teacher's.

6. Fear is probably the greatest problem that the church faces today.

7. Fear:

a. Shows a lack of faith in God.

b. Causes one to disobey God.

c. Will cause others to disobey God.

d. Will cause one to incur God's wrath.



I. Fear shows a lack of faith in God (Numbers 13:31; Numbers 14:2-3)

A. "They are stronger than we." Think of all that God had done for them.

1. He had performed the ten plagues through Moses.

2. He split the Red Sea right down the middle.

3. He led them in a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. This was a continual reminder of God's presence.

4. He gave them manna and quail.

5. What a lack of faith they show here!

B. God was with them and yet they feared men (Numbers 14:9).

1. God had already shown that he could destroy whole armies.

2. God had also promised that he would give them the land (Numbers 13:2).

3. They should have followed Joshua's advice (Numbers 13:30; Numbers 14:8-9).

C. Do we sometimes fear when we shouldn't?

1. FEAR = False Evidence Appears Real.

2. Our Lord has promised to be with us (Matthew 28:20).

3. We have a constant reminder of His presence - His Word (Matthew 24:35).

4. Rom. 8:31. 5. Matthew 10:28.


II. Fear can cause one to disobey God

A. Because of their fear, they rejected God's leadership (Numbers 14:4).

1. Joshua said this was rebellion (Numbers 14:9).

2. God said they did not believe Him (Numbers 14:11).

3. Paul also called it "unbelief" (Hebrews 3:19).

B. When people fear today, it sometimes causes them to disobey God.

1. Some fear to do personal work and therefore, disobey Matthew 28:19-20.

2. Some fear poor attendance and therefore turn to gimmickry to draw people to services (John 12:32).

3. Some fear false teachers and therefore disobey (Romans 16:17).

4. Some fear ridicule and do not defend the Lord when he is attacked (Mark 8:38).


III. One person's fear can cause others to disobey God

A. The fear of the spies was contagious (Numbers 14:1-2).

B. As a result of their fear, the congregation became fearful and disobeyed.

C. We must be sure that we do not cast a stumbling block for our brethren (Romans 14:13).

1. Our fears can be contagious to others.

2. By not doing the things we should, we are not setting the proper examples.

3. By doing this, we bear some of the responsibility for their actions.


IV. Fear will cause one to incur God's wrath

A. They would not be allowed to enter into the promised land because they did not trust the Lord (Numbers 14:22-23).

1. The unfaithful spies were killed by the plague (Numbers 14:37).

2. These people did not deserve the promised land.

B. Fear today will cause us to be punished.

1. We are not to be fearful but bold and courageous.

2. Revelation 21:8; look at how God views the fearful.



1. Let us try to follow Joshua and Caleb's example.

2. Numbers 14:24; Numbers 32:11-12.

3. Revelation 21:7.

4. Many fear to obey the gospel.

5. Our Lord offers his invitation (Matthew 11:28-30). There is no reason to be fearful.

6. Give invitation - Plan of Salvation.


Are You Saved?


-- Ralph Price, February 2000 --


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