From refreshment stands spiked with bourbon to popsicle cyclists struggling to keep cold. Is the weather normal and over reported or tragic and ominous. Do these events mean something to the illuminated?
My introduction was- short. I said, ‘My message today is less about what you get in the Christian life as how to live it. It should not really be about what you get.’ It is more about wanting to be forgiven and loving God for what He has done about it. So let us talk about some scriptures in Hebrews and elsewhere that illustrate my point. The scriptures are the point of course but that is the authority that even Jesus used to make His points. This is a very valuable tool used in evangelism and exposition and other disciplines like eschatology when involved with preaching.
Heb 10:36 For you need endurance, so that after you have done God’s will you can receive what He has promised.
What He has promised is His perfect love and eternal life. Though it arrives after one has done God’s will or lived his life in a Christian manner. Then he receives it. But we need endurance before this time because all lives get hard, become difficult at some point. Endurance is to patiently wait for something while a lot of tough stuff may be happening to you and others. To keep waiting and keep up appearances until it happens, roll with the punches and letting it roll off your back while keeping a good attitude. But nobody said we had to be perfect!
Christians need endurance too, perhaps more than anybody else. I don’t see them getting persecuted! It can be so tough that you need God to help you get through. And we all know someone who has fallen away or backslid. I would really like to know if they found a better life from backsliding rather than calling out to GOD? Did you get what you wanted from your life after that? I don’t think so. The Bible says that men or women can’t renew to repentance anyone who has fallen away. But God can, so if you want it bad enough, assuming you do, pray, read your Bible and do good works. Make it totally apparent to God that you do and then He may call you back. He did me!
Heb 10:37 For “in a very little while the one who is coming will return—he will not delay;
He is coming to reward us for our works, whether good or evil. It is a little while until He- Jesus- comes back and the times show it. It was a little while when the author wrote this in 80-90 AD and it is a little while now. After all a thousand years is like one day to God. Prophecies from the Old Testament point to these days for His soon return. The making of the nation of Israel again is the biggee. The sheer number of earthquakes and unusual storms and floods was predicted by Jesus long ago. The Revival of the Church in Africa and China and their persecution also is evidence that these times are changing. Wars and rumors of wars are prevalent. The rapture could be any day and then the Great Tribulation would start. The advent of the one world government and the one world religion is a sure sign and the technology to do the mark of the beast is in place.
Heb 10:38 but my righteous one will live by faith, and if he turns back, my soul will take no pleasure in him.”
My righteous ones are Gods people- Christians. They are to live by faith. Have faith in God’s provision, God’s love and Jesus of course. And it is about backsliders again. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to lead us to Christ and to convict us of sin. He creates a kind of foreboding. A feeling that we have done something wrong or that something bad will happen or fear caused by guilt. When we see these things we know we should turn to God for repentance and forgiveness. We know that is He trying to reach us
Heb 11:13 All these people died having faith. They did not receive the things that were promised, yet they saw them in the distant future and welcomed them, acknowledging that they were strangers and foreigners on earth.
These people are all the people in Hebrews 11 that are examples of great faith and they did not receive the promises- no Holy Spirit, no perfect love, or eternal life until after the Messiah came. But they had the right attitude. They saw these great things in the future and not in their path and they rejoiced and lived the right way because they wanted to because of God. Not only that but they were persecuted and died without receiving. They worked hard in various countries like the Jews and did well, and kept the culture going and blest God without receiving what they knew was coming.
Heb 11:39 All these people won approval for their faith but they did not receive what was promised,
They won approval in Hebrews chapter 11 and from The Holy One but not the promises like I said.
1Pe 1:8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. And even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy,
This is what happens if you remain a Christian. By faith we love Him, we believe in HIM, and the marks of a Christian- love and an indescribable and glorious Joy over what Jesus has done for us on the cross.
And the last one: Heb 9:14 how much more will the blood of the Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead actions so that we may serve the living God!
Not by the blood of animals but by the blood of the Messiah. He offered Himself through the Holy Spirit unblemished- the perfect lamb, the perfect sacrifice. Who among other things can cleanse our consciences from guilt and sin so we can serve God. I am reminded of people who have it bad and a hard life an affliction or hang up or problem. Through the healing of His relationship with you can make you right and able and copious to serve a function, for Him. He makes us well to be productive in some fashion to use our gifts which He gave us for His purposes and there are plenty to go around. He made me able, and all that I am is dependent on Him.
So live your life large in the Lord and be selfless and do the right thing. With the Holy Spirit we can! Become what you can and have a good attitude until you receive the rest of the promises. Be content with where God has you because it is much better than it was. Don’t focus on perfection until we get to heaven. Put your trust in Jesus and be trustworthy to Him. He is the great God he gives good gifts and has us doing His high values of unity and togetherness and faithfulness. I was a wretch and He made me His servant, now I have enough and some to give. I love because He first loved me. He is good and I contribute my life for the cause.