Don’t Cross God’s Line

Can you cross the line of God and miss heaven?  Yes!!!   But is that line the same for everyone?  Does one have one line while God uses a different line for another? Possibly He does.  We are all different that is for sure, but do all cross the line God has put there in the same manner? God knows each of our hearts and what we will do in life.  It is very possible that God places lines for which He knows our heart. 

Despite the severity of the law, God dealt with His people Israel with much grace and mercy in their rebellions against Him.  Moses held a very high position in what he had to do for the Lord and I don’t know about you but Moses had to put up with a lot of grumbling, whining people for 40 years.  Remember also that he began this job when he was 80 years old.  Would you want to take on what he did at 80 years of age?  Would you be good at your job or get really tired of a bunch of whining people who just kept messing up? 

We all know that Moses had a special place with God:   

He was considered the meekest man on earth (Numbers 12:3) So he was and that gave him a special place with God.     He was faithful in all God’s house (Numbers 12:7) That is pretty great thing to be.     Spoke to God mouth to mouth (Numbers 12:8) That is incredible that God spoke directly to Moses in a way that we wish God would speak to us.  Oh, we talk to God but we don’t see God face to face like Moses did even when we have that personal relationship.   Found grace in the sight of the Lord (Exodus 33:17-23.  We all want God’s grace and His mercy, but Moses had a job that most all of us would not want to have.  I can’t even imagine all that Moses had to go through those 40 years putting up with people and circumstances that would make most people just want to give up.

So what about Moses crossing a line?  I bet that Moses never thought that after all he was doing he would miss going into the Promised Land.  After all had he not done what God said for 40 years leading the people to the Promised Land?    Well…Moses and Aaron crossed a line with God and they were not allowed to enter the Promised Land (Numbers 20:12, Numbers 20:23-24, Deuteronomy 1:37, Deuteronomy 3:23-26, Deuteronomy 4:21-22, and Deuteronomy 32:48-52. 

So now back to us…can we cross the line and not make it?   The Bible teaches us that we can still cross lines with God   1 John 5:16, 1 Corinthians 11:29-31.  What is the line for us?  I don’t exactly know.  I am sure though that God has placed one for each of us at creation and the choice to do right or do wrong.  Whatever our line might be…I sure don’t want to even get close to that line. Whatever made God so angry with such a man of God as Moses stands as a warning to us. We should guard our lives and hearts so that we do not cross that line.

Living in this world can be tough.  Life really isn’t fair and we don’t always get the good things we think somehow we deserve, or the people in our life that we felt should be there, but we get what we need for our life good or bad to make us into the people that God wants us to be. 

HE BELIEVED NOT:   The Privilege of Moses;  also consider Luke 12:48.  The Sin of Moses Numbers 20:12-13.   The Sin of Unbelief was what blocked entrance into the Promised Land.  Hebrews 3:17-19.  Will the sin of unbelief keep us from the promised land of God?   Will our unbelief  block entrance into heaven?  Hebrews 4:1-3, Revelation 21:8.  But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.  Acts 16:30-31.  Will block the working of God in your life.  Matthew 13:58, Romans 4:18-21

HE REBELLED AGAINST GOD’S WORD: The Privilege of Moses. Numbers 12:8.  The Sin of Moses.  Numbers 20:24, Numbers 27:12-14. The Sin of Disobedience:   A sin worthy of death (Joshua 1:18. The rebellion of Saul (1 Samuel 15:10-11, 17-23.  Causing the wrath of God.  Colossians 3:5-6. HE SPOKE UNADVISEDLY:  The Sin of Moses: Psalm 106:32-33.  The Importance of our Words: Matthew 12:36.  Words spoken in anger: Ephesians 4:26. Words spoken in jest:  Ephesians 5:4. HE SANCTIFIED NOT GOD:  The Sin of Moses:  Deuteronomy 32:48-51. 

Though we live in an age of Grace and mercy… is everyone who thinks they are truly saved can they cross that line?  Will all never lose their salvation?  I think we are still able to cross lines with God that bring certain judgment on our lives because we don’t stand on Jesus for everything He did for us and has given to us every day of our life.  If you are in danger of crossing the line, seek Him today. Cry out to God and turn your heart and life to Him with all haste. We don’t know exactly, for us, what line God has placed before us and if we are close to crossing that line somehow.  Let us stay focused on Jesus.  Let us live for Him in all we do always putting Him first and having a personal relationship with Him.  Moses crossed a line and he was a man of God.  Should we not judge ourself and see where we lack in our walk with God? 

Life is filled with boundaries, some are important and others are not so important.  The government places boundaries on our lives through various laws and regulations.  Society places boundaries on our lives by telling what most people feel constitutes acceptable behavior.  Religion places boundaries upon the lives of people by telling them what they can and cannot do.  There are rules all throughout our life just getting up each day in this world.  The thing is we might have to live by laws and rules in the world but if they go against what God says we don’t have to follow them.  If we don’t follow the rules of the land we can be in trouble with people of the world, but our souls will be in the right place.  The truth of the matter in this world is that everywhere you go in this world, you are confronted with boundaries. Many boundaries are a good thing, but the boundaries that truly matter to our soul are those that God has set for us.  You won’t understand and know what they are if you do not study the word of God and do what God says…OVER WHAT EVERYONE ELSE SAYS, THINKS, OR DOES. 

When a boundary is crossed, usually a penalty is incurred.  If you violate the laws of the land and get caught, there is a price to pay.  If you step over the boundaries imposed by society or religion, you may be ostracized by the group.  When you cross the boundaries of life, you will pay a price. The biggest price to be paid is eternal forfeiture of being in God’s presence by choosing not to follow and love Him above all else.  The same is true when it comes to God.  God, in His Word and His will, places many boundaries upon our lives.  When we step over one of God’s boundaries, there is always a heavy price to pay. He is patient; He is loving; and He is full of mercy and grace, but God has His limits.  To cross a boundary that God has drawn seals your fate; and forces you to pay a high penalty for crossing the line.

Our text presents a man by the name of Shimei.  His life is a perfect example of a person who knew the boundaries, stepped over them and paid a terrible and tragic price.  It may be that there is someone here today who is nearing one of God’s boundaries.  If there is, I want to tell you that you do not have to cross it!  It is not too late to stop and do it God’s way.  You do not have to pay the high price that will come if you cross the line with God.  Allow me to share three simple observations with you as I try to preach on this thought: Don’t Cross That Line!

2 Sam. 16:5-13        SHIMEI’S GREAT SIN: What did Shimei do that caused him to get into so much trouble?  He Defied God – As David was forced to leave Jerusalem because of the rebellion of his son Absalom, he was followed by a man named Shimei.  Shimei was a descendent of King Saul, and he held a strong dislike for King David.  As he followed David, Shimei hurled stones and curses at King David.  The phrase “cast stones” refers to “stoning someone to death.”  It would appear that Shimei was trying to cause David bodily harm.  When the Bible says he “cursed him,” it means to “treat with contempt, or to dishonor.”  By this act, Shimei was in rebellion to God.  Why? David was God’s anointed, and to defy David was to defy God.   1 Chron. 16:22; Psalm 105:15  Shimei was guilty because he took a stand against God, against God’s will and against God’s plan.  In this, Shimei is a picture of the lost sinner.  Just like Shimei, every person in this world, in their natural state is guilty of rebellion against God, Rom. 3:23; Isa. 53:6; Isa. 64:6.  No matter what we may think of ourselves, God has declared us to be guilty before Him, Gal. 3:22; Rom. 3:10-23.  Our problem is the same as that of Shimei: we have defied God.   He Deserved Death – Since Shimei had cursed God’s anointed king, he was deserving of death.  God had forbidden the Israelites from cursing their ruler, Ex. 22:28.  Shimei was guilty and he deserved to die!

The same is true for every lost person in the world.  God has fixed the penalty of our sin at death, Rom. 6:23.  We may think it to be harsh, or out of date, but the fact remains that those who die in their sins die lost and will spend eternity, apart from God in a place called Hell.  We may not like it, but there is eternal judgment waiting on those who die without Jesus Christ, Heb. 9:27; Psa. 9:17.)   He Discovered Mercy – Despite the fact that Shimei had defied God and deserved to die, he was treated with grace and mercy by King David.  David considered all the facts and gave Shimei the benefit of the doubt.  If you are saved this morning, you are saved simply through the mercy and grace of God, Eph. 2:8-9.  If you are lost, then you are still on this earth and not in Hell, simply because God, in His mercy, has not allowed you to die lost yet!  Thank God for His love for the lost, John 3:16; Rom. 5:8.  Thank God for His grace and mercy toward those who deserve to be in the fires of Hell, 2 Pet. 3:9.   Here is the bottom line: you are alive today and not in Hell by the pure grace and good pleasure of God.  We must not take that blessing for granted.  2 Sam. 19:16-23   SHIMEI’S GRACIOUS SAVIOR: After a time, the rebellion with Absalom was quelled and David returned to Jerusalem and to his throne.  Among the first ones to meet him was Shimei.  Again, David was put into a position where he could have had Shimei executed, but as we will see, he extended grace instead of judgment!  Shimei Repents Of His Sin – When Shimei meets David, he confesses his wrong doing and his sin.  He also pledges his allegiance to David as his king.   He seems to be sincere, but as we shall see, his repentance was only half-hearted.  He was merely telling David what he thought David wanted to hear to save his own skin.  Lots of people change when the king is in town! Let me just say here that it is a dangerous thing to play around with God!  When He deals with you about your sins and you come to the altar, He means business and He expects you to mean business as well.  This is no game!  Eternity is at stake and God will deal with all those who trifle with Him in spiritual matters. If God is dealing with you about salvation, or about some sin in your life if you are already saved, the place to be is in the altar.  But, when you come, please take it seriously!  It is not a game and if you do not plan to keep the vows you are about to make with God, you would be better off not to come before Him and tell Him you will change.  Let me also say that if you ever expect to be right with God, you will have to come to a place of repentance.  This applies to everyone, saved and lost!  God demands that lost people and His people alike turn from their sins, confessing them and forsaking them, if they want salvation and forgiveness, Luke 13:3; Acts 17:30.  Shimei Is Reminded Of His Sentence – David’s men want to kill Shimei and he is reminded that he deserves to die for his transgression! I’ll  just touch this and move on, but it would do us who are saved good to remember where the Lord found us and what He did for us when He saved us, Isa. 51:1.  We were headed to Hell when He reached down in grace, love and mercy and delivered us from death unto life!  Remembering where we came from might just help us live cleaner lives!  Shimei Receives His Salvation – Instead of having Shimei killed, David forgave him.  David forgave Shimei’s sins, but he expected Shimei’s loyalty.  He expected Shimei to live up to his confession and profession.  You see, before David died, he commanded his son Solomon concerning Shimei, 1 Kings 2:8-9.  Apparently, David still had good reason to doubt the sincerity of Shimei and his repentance.  When the Lord saves us, He expects us to walk in His will and become like Him, 1 John 2:6.  When the Lord saves us, He cleanses us from all sin, 1 John 1:7, but He expects us to follow Him in absolute loyalty.  You see, if you are saved, you can never lose your salvation, but God will judge the sins in your life, 1 Cor. 11:31!  Whether you are saved or lost this morning, you need to know that you will never get away with sin, Num. 32:23; Gal. 6:7!)  1 Kings 2:36-46    SHIMEI’S GRUESOME SENTENCE:  After David is dead, Shimei demonstrates his genuine character and he pays a high price.   A Line Is Drawn – Solomon tells Shimei that he may live, but to do so, he has to leave his home town and move into Jerusalem.  He can ever leave the city, to do so is to incur a death sentence.  Solomon had every right to do this!  He was the king.  He could have had Shimei executed had he wanted too.  Instead, he extended grace to Shimei, as had David his father!  By the same token, God has every right to place His boundaries in your life and mine.  After all, He is God and He is our Creator!  If you are saved, God has even more right to do this, for He owns you!  He purchased you as His peculiar possession with the blood of His Son Jesus, 1 Cor. 6:19-20; 1 Pet. 2:9.  God did not save your soul so that you could serve the devil!  He saved you to be His and His alone!  You should never burn your candle for the devil and blow the smoke of a wasted life in the face of God!  An Oath Is Declared – Shimei hears the king’s demands and he agrees to every detail.  Shimei gives his oath that he will not cross the brook called Kidron.  When a vow is made to the Lord, God takes it very seriously!  When you told Him you would serve Him faithfully, He expected you to keep that vow.  Our vows to the Lord are a legally binding contract and He expects us to do what we say we will do, Eccl. 5:4-5.  He expects us to respect His boundaries!  A  Promise Is Disregarded – For three years Shimei did what he had promised to do, but when two of his servants ran away, Shimei proved that he did not really respect the king and he went after his servants and brought them back to Jerusalem.  Shimei did what he did because he was guilty of wrong thinking concerning Solomon. Maybe he thought Solomon was too good to execute the sentence. Maybe he thought Solomon would forget.  But, friends, he was dead wrong!  Solomon meant what he said and he did not forget the boundaries he had established!  Shimei was about to find this out first hand. God has set certain boundaries in His Word.  There are at least three that we can clearly identify.  The first two of these three boundaries can only be crossed by a lost person and the other only by a saved person. Sinning away the day of grace – This refers to a person ignoring the call of God to come to Jesus for salvation to the point that God quits calling at all, Gen. 6:3. Coming to the day of death unsaved – This refers to a life lived in sin that ends in death before a person comes to Jesus for salvation, Death is coming for everyone, Heb. 9:27, and it catches many off guard.  Some think they have plenty of time, Pro. 27:1;  Luke 12:16-21.  The fact is, death is coming and if it comes before you come to faith in Jesus, you will die lost and go to Hell, John 8:24. Committing the sin unto death – This refers to a believer going so far away from God into sin that the Lord takes him out of this world, rather than leaving him here to dishonor the name of Jesus, 1 Cor. 5:5.  Never think for a minute that God is “too good or too loving” to execute His sentence upon those who cross His deadlines!  He will not back down and He will never forget!  The only thing that can stave off His wrath is repentance and faith!  A Transgressor Is Destroyed – Shimei crossed the boundaries Solomon had dictated and his sentence was executed swiftly and finally. Those who cross God’s boundaries will find that there is no hope, no forgiveness and nothing to look forward but His judgment.  But, friend, it doesn’t have to be that way!  The Lord stands ready right now to forgive all those who will come to Him in humble repentance, 1 John 1:9.  When David reached his death bed, his dying words tell us that he had not forgotten nor forgiven Shimei for the wrongs he had done.  Here is where there is a pointed contrast between David and God in Heaven.  David died remembering what Shimei had done.  But, when a lost sinner or a repentant saint comes before the Lord, they are fully, finally and eternally forgiven by Him!  Hallelujah!  What a Savior!   Friend, has God been dealing with you about your sins?  Has He been calling you to repent?  If so, I would challenge you to come while He calls.  Don’t cross that line!  If you do, you will regret it for all eternity!  Maybe you are saved, but you haven’t kept your vows to the Lord.  There is sin in your life and you are in danger of stepping over God’s boundaries!  Please don’t cross that line!  Come to the Lord today and get things right with Him.  Don’t put it off until it is too late. My desire has not been to scare anyone.  My desire has been to point out that this is a serious business we are engaged in here.  God means business and He expects us to take it seriously as well.  If He is calling you, I think I would mind Him.  Please don’t cross that line!

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