Confident of Better Things


Uploaded by RealAnswersRealLife on 09.09.2012

Transcript:

Well, we're going to continue in our study today, on the book of Hebrews,
moving into chapter 6. Many of you have read this particular
passage that Richard will be dealing with today. It's a passage
that brings confusion. It consternation
sometimes fear. I think Richard is going to clear all of that up
for us today. So we're going to look forward--you've got a big task.
But just to preface that, I want to go back through what we've learned
thus far, through the book of Hebrews.
First, the proposition. The book of Hebrews was written for one purpose,
and one purpose only, and that was to tell us that the New Covenant is superior
to and takes the place of, the Old Covenant. That was a significant
message to the people the writer of Hebrews was trying to address.
They had 14 hundred years of Old Covenant thinking, Of Old Covenant living.
It was a tradition that had rooted in deeply.
Now this Jesus was coming in on the scene,
and He was saying there's something new, there's something better, there's something more dynamic.
There's something available that can actually deliver you to
your intended goal. So the New Covenant is superior to,
and takes the place of the Old Covenant. To build his case, the writer
of Hebrews goes point by point with all of those things that are
significant to the Jewish people. So what we've learned thus far is
that Jesus is superior to the prophets. Moses, and
Jeremiah, and Isaiah, and Daniel, and all of those guys
that the people of Israel put on a pedastal,
Jesus comes along and He's far superior to each and every one. He's superior to the angels.
He's superior to Moses. What we've
also learned is that the plan of God, is to build a house
of God. We saw that in the temple, well, the tabernacle, then the temple;
Well, God is building His house, and we happen to be that house.
It's not a temple made out of brick and mortar, it is a
temple that is made of people; souls that have come to Christ by faith.
We've also learned that the Creation Sabbath rest remains;
that there is an opportunity for us to enter into that Sabbath Rest.
It's not a day of the week, it is a disposition toward God.
It is our resting in what He's accomplished for us through Christ Jesus.
We've also learned that Jesus is superior to the High Priest.
There was a High Priest that was named annually. That High Priest carried out
the duties on the Day of Atonement, entering into the holy of holies;
well Jesus has replaced that guy, and He is permanent in His priesthood.
We've also learned about some warnings. The book of
Hebrews is a letter that is organized around a series of
warnings. Red flags, as we've called them. The first one was do not
drift away, or ignore such a great salvation.
Here Jesus comes on the scene, and He offers Himself. He says
"In Me is life, in Me is forgiveness, in Me is salvation"
The Mosaic Covenant didn't offer that. It offered a series of
blessings and cursings based on the people's ability to live up to
the Law. Well, they couldn't do it, so they experienced
curse after curse, after curse. But in Christ, there's this great salvation
that is available to all of us, so don't drift away from that.
Do not have a sinful unbelieving heart like those in the wildnerness.
They died in the wilderness, because they did not combine
the message that God had brought to them, with faith. They lived in a
state of rebellion and in a state of unbelief. Sinful in their actions
and attitudes towards God. So don't be like that. Don't
follow their example, go with Jesus. Do not continue
to crucify Jesus by your unbelief. That's what
Richard is going to talk more about today. I think we're in for a
wonderful, wonderful Sunday. Open up your hearts and minds and let
the Lord teach you. Richard? [Richard] Let's pray.
Lord God, we're here, because You brought us here.
We're here because we are intrigued unbelievably
with Jesus. We don't always understand
Him. We don't always accept Him.
We're still intrigued with Him. We need to have that interest
moved into the concrete,
to move from just playing around
into betting our lives on this, because that's
what we're doing. So, we thank You in advance for
what You're about to take us through. We hand You
our fears in advance. We hand You all of the things that we've heard
or thought about this passage. We thank You for dealing with them
accordingly. In Jesus name, amen.
Confident of better things.
I uh (chuckles)
could've picked other phrases out of this passage. Phrases that are
normally picked..."You are slow to learn!"
I could do that, but, that's not really what this is about.
We'll see that. So, if you've got your Bibles, turn to
Hebrews 5, and we'll start in verse 11;
and I'm going to read the passage, and then I'm not going to explain it, because
there's something else that I have to explain first, if you'll spot me that amount of time.
So here's the passage, starting in Hebrews chapter 5, verse 11 going through vs 12 of 6.
"We have much to say about this, but it hard to explain
"because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought
"to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all
"over again. You need milk, not solid food.
"Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.
But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained
"themselves to distinguish good from evil. Therefore, let us
"leave the elementary teachings of Christ, and go on to maturity,
"not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God,
"instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead,
"and eternal judgement. And God permitting, we will do so.
"It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted
"the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness
"of the word of God, and the powers of the coming age if they poke Jesus
"in the eye and tell Him no more"--that's really what that means.
"To be brought back to repentance, while to their loss they are crucifying
"the Son of God all over again, and subjecting Him to public disgrace.
"Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop
"useful to those for whom it is farmed, receives the blessings of God.
"But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being
"cursed. In the end, it will be burned."
"Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are confident of better things in your case
"things that accompany salvation. God is not
"unjust. He will not forget your work, and the love you have shown Him as you have helped
"His people, and continue to help them. We want
"each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure
"we do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate
"those who through faith and patience, inherit what has been promised.

for those of you who feel the need to confess, if you'll come down front,
now (laughter) we'll get you a microphone. We'll record it,
we'll post it to YouTube. Isn't that what we usually
hear in this context? You know,
(mockingly) Nice try everyone! I know you thought you came to Jesus,
but, you know, if you've got any sin in your life, apparently not. I kid you
not, we got a call this week, from--on the radio program. A guy called
in and said, "My brother has joined___" he named it, I'd never heard of it before, but it's
a Messianic congregation...belief system.
Here is the core of their belief: Jesus came,
and fulfilled the Law. He died for all of your past sins.
Now, that we have accepted Jesus,
because He fulfilled all the Law, all the Torah,
we are now expected to keep all 613 of the Laws in the Torah.
You gotta do that
perfectly, because there is no more sacrifice for sins. That's how it was explained.
So, let's assume
that they're right, and follow the argument to it's logical
conclusion. If Jesus died for past sins,
and we're now required to keep all 613 Laws, and
there is no sacrifice for sin; what happens if you sin?
You are dead! Killed!
God would be more than mercifiul to burn you to a crisp, right on the spot
at the first hint of a sin. These people are pleased with themselves.
I can hardly wait, every morning, I get
up and say, "Which of the 613 am I going to keep today?"
God answers back, "All of them" "Oh no, Lord, there's 613
"I mean, that's almost 2 years of Law keeping, so I'll keep one today,
"then another one tomorrow..." He says, "No no no. All of them. Every second."
Every millisecond, not even a hint of sin. Well why Lord? Well, because there's no more sacrifice
fo sin. We are truly cursed if we buy into that
belief. Yet, so many pastors have stood in front of their congregations
and used that very same logic to explain what we just read.
What a tragedy. I heard it when I was
growing up; many of you heard it when you were growing up. Most of us believed it.
Thankfully, God did something.
I told you I couldn't explain this until I explained something else, and here's
what I need to go through. Where is the writer going with this? Why is he
talking about this stuff? I think if I show you
the book, the letter, in a slightly different outline than what we've used,
it will begin to dawn on you what's going on. Way back in chapter 2,
verse 14 and following, the writer introduces the idea of a merciful
and faithful High Priest. Just barely introduces
it. Then, he talks about in chapter 3,
you're never going to enter my rest. That's God talking to sinful Israel, right?
Their disobedience. How did He define disobedience? Unbelief. They refused to accept
God. Then He says, okay, before you
all panic, there remains a rest.
Two weeks ago, we talked about the sabbath rest. Last week, Bob
introduced the idea again. We have a High Priest.
it's an amazing High Priest. At the very end of the passge there, it mentions
Melchizadek. You think that the writer is going to
jump into this HIgh Priest, but he can't yet.
So you get this passage we just read today: There's much to say,
about this High Priest, but I can't--you're slow to learn.
There's a follow on it that we won't get to today,
promises to Abraham at the end of chapter 6.
Then finally, in chapter 7, he gets to Melchezidek,
and this full explanation of how Melchizedek represents
Jesus. Melchizedek is not Jesus, but he represents him. Okay?
What we've got, are two inner issues
of unbelief. One about rest, the other
about not accepting what God promised to Abraham in the first place,
so therefore, you're poking Jesus in the eye. Stop it.
He needs to deal with those two situations, because he's trying to
get clear to Melchizedek.
Have you ever had a conversation with somebody like that? You want
to explain something, and based on their response to you, or a question they ask you,
realize something has to be talked about first. So you deal with
the underlying issue, then you come back to your assertion.
They say something else, and you realize there's some more to cover.
So you cover it, and finally you can get to the full explanation. Parents,
do that with kids all the time. I mean that's the source of the statement, "how many times have I
"told you?" They don't remember.
(chuckles) It's kind of a silly question. What you're doing is
you know, justifying yourself. Because to admit that they don't have it yet, means that I've failed
as a father, doesn't it? See? So we justify it
ourselves. Kids don't get it; students don't get it. Employees don't get it.
People don't get it! It's very common.
Because he's dealing with Israel, and he's been telling Israel
in very direct ways, that their entire history
is over and done. God gave you
your identity as an Israelite. A child of Abraham.
A person of the Law. Jesus comes along,
and fulfills the Law, and then this writer has the audacity to say
"Well, you know all that stuff you did for 1400 years? Never mind,"
and as a Jew, you would be going, "But..but..but...but...BUT!"
So he explains some more stuff. Keeps coming to
Melchizedek and finally gets to Melchizedek, because what happens after Melchizedek?
You've read the letter. The New Covenant.
He gets to the core of it, and he spends 3 chapters explaining the New Covenant.
But until we get through these issues,
we can't talk about New Covenant. At least he couldn't with his listeners.
We're not all that different. We're not Jewish,
but I'll bet every one of us has been under some form of Law or other.
Every one of us has been in some kind of tradition or other.
We've held on to that tradition for dear life, and somebody comes along
and says, "You don't have to do anything with that tradition.." and you go, "WHAT?!?!"
"Are you kidding me? I've poured my whole
"life into this tradition!" The real tragedy is that so many pastors
understand the bankrupt nature of their own
traditions, and they don't think they can give them up, because if they do, they have no where to go.
So they continue to torture their people and torture their people and torture their people
because they, themselves are living a defeated life.
When you look at the statistics of the burn out of ministers,
and it makes you weep. Hundreds of guys;
and now since there are more and more women in ministry, hundreds of women, too.
are just saying, "I can't do this anymore" Some of the most effective recruiting
in the United States for Islam are former Christian ministers.
They couldn't take the sham anymore, and Islam
gave them something concrete to hold on to. That's like
marrying the same guy you just divorced.
Right? How many second marriages end up with the same kind of
person that you divorced? That
statistic alone, ought to give people who are divorced pause
before you jump back in. What are you going for?
Well, that's what happens when all you've got is legalism. That's what happens when all you've
got is this knowledge of good and evil, and no response to it.
The only response to the knowledge of good and evil is Jesus Christ. If you
haven't come to Jesus, you can't deal with good and evil.
That's what we're getting into, today. So keep this
outline mentally in your head. It helps explain
why there's these what look like fits and starts as we're going through this letter,
but it's not. He's dealing with specific issues that are common to all of us.
They might've expressed themselves in a unique way to the Jews to whom he was writing,
but everyone of us has to deal with these things. So today,
Bob Christopher was kind enough to give me the hammer. I've got to play bad
cop, and you know, but he also let me play good cop.
Next week or so, so that's okay. So let's go back and take a look at this.
So go back in your Bible, verse 11, chapter 5. We've got this big issue
What is the issue?
Anybody want to call it out? Slow to learn!
You're slow to learn.
The way he describes this,
gives you an idea of why they were slow to learn. It's not because they had a learning disability,
it's because they had a bad attitude. Take a look at this: You ought
to be teachers, but you need the ABC's again.
What was the purpose of the law,
with Israel? It was to set them apart as a uniquely
positive society in the midst of the grossest paganistism
you could imagine. Here we have, amongst other things, a law that
celebrates children. In their society,
around them, what did they do with children? They killed them, they sacrificed them
to Molech. What a contrast!
They should have been shining lights to the one true God.
They failed. It was example after example
after example you can see in the Old Testament of where they failed. It wasn't the Law's fault.
Wasn't God's fault; it was the people's fault. So, by now,
given Jesus and the fact that the law pointed forward, and Jesus fulfilled the Law,
and said, 'It is finished," they should be the teachers. But
some of them needed the ABC's all over again.
You need milk, not solid food.
That's a terrible statement. Sometimes we read that by going
"oh yeah, we'll need milk. We'll always deal with the basics here,"
You never have to worry about hard theology in our church,
we want to be friendly. We want to be Christianity Lite.
you know... 1/3 fewer calories, but it taste great.
It's worthless.
Naturally. We're talking about Jesus Christ.
He is the God of the universe; there is no other.
We'll never understand that, so just get ready for things you don't understand.
Because we're going to go through them. Whether I'm talking about it, or Bob is talking about it, you're reading it
for yourself, there's heavy stuff in the Bible. Rejoice over that.
God thinks us worth hearing the heavy stuff.
These people.."no, no, no. We just want milk. Give me my candy,"
"I don't want anything tough" You are not
acquainted about teaching about righteousness. Ooo! Here we go.
Now this is where the Legalist would say, "See, I told you!"
Well what has righteousness to do with? Relationships.
A person who is righteous is in the
correct relationship with Jesus; therefore, Jesus does
righteous works through the person. If you tried
to make it, "I'm righteous on the outside" through behavior modification,
that's going to change me on the inside, you will fail miserably. These people were failing miserably.
They would not give up the Law, and therefore they were missing the point
about righteousness. It's all about being in right relationship with Jesus.

So, you know, it's a lot easier to write this stuff, than to tell somebody in person.
But I'll bet he was
weeping as he did this. So, then he says, there's a way to resolve this issue.
Let's go on to maturity.
Allow the Holy Spirit to grow you. You will
grow. Notice you can't grow
if you should be weaned, and you refused to be weaned.
You will be a baby the rest of your life. It'll become very unhealthy for you.
We're designed to grow, we're designed to
change the kind of food we eat; moving from mother's milk to
that....stuff....pureed peas. Blech..
(chuckles) and on into other flavors and textures, and
all that. Right? What's the problem with teaching the kids to eat? Usually isn't the flavor.
It's the texture. When they've been accustomed to milk or formula,
and the first time they have something that's got some 'feel'
to it on their tongue? What's the thing they most normally do? "Blahh"
Then they eat by osmosis, by spreading it around on their face.
That's what he's accusing these people of, Let's grow up!
Leave the elementary teachings
about Christ.
Well, I never want to leave Jesus. We're not talking about
leaving Jesus, we're talking about elementary teachings.
What he wanted them to do is to stop laying the foundation over
and over and over and over and over and over again.
Jesus loves you.. Awww Jesus loves me.
What does that mean? It means...that Jesus loves you.. ohhhh Jesus loves me.
Jesus died for your sin. Ohhhh! Jesus died for my sins.
What does that mean? Jesus died for your sins..Ohhhhh!
Right? We've all been there.
It's fascinating to me that this list of
things we need to leave off, to stop laying the foundation,
look at this list: Repentence from acts that lead to death.
What is repentence?
It's a turning around. "I was going south,
"now I'm going north" Okay? It's a mind choice.
A realazation that Jesus is something--someone who needs to be
responded to, and I respond.
Well, if you've done that, why do we keep coming back and telling you to repent?
Repent is a salvation thing. It's not a sin thing. Okay?
So, we need to stop talking about repentence. We need to stop talking about faith in
God. Notice I said, "talking" about faith in God.
It's time to start exercising faith in God.
Let's see...
instruction about baptisms. Ohh there it is! There's more than one baptism!
Okay.. some of your Bibles say
washings, and its probably a better way to think about it, he's talking
about Jewish Law, Jewish ceremony, all that kind of thing.
He's not talking about, "Well do you get get baptized water, or by the spirit, or both?"
and when do they happen? Keep it in context.
These are Jews who don't want to leave the laws. There were more washings
baptism in that Law than you could shake a stick at. For good reason.
Each one of them meant something, but in the context of Jesus, why are we talking about these?
The laying on of hands.
You noticed most evangelical churches
are afraid to talk about the laying on of hands. Because what
happens if we lay on hands, and something happens?
If we're afraid of
the Holy Spirit, if we're afraid, I mean even in the Old Covenant, when they laid
on hands, this was special stuff. People were set apart by laying on of hands,
because people were ministered to by laying on of hands.
In the New Covenant, it looks different, but there's something so important
about touch. So many of us
I certainly was raised in a church that we couldn't even get to this foundational
issue about laying on of hands. Because, of course, for me, there was no
holy spirit, so why would you ever lay hands on someone to bless or pray over them?
To heal them; to call them to ministry; or to recognize their call
to ministry. Yet, these people just going over and over and over and
over, and the resurrection of the dead.
Is there a resurrection of the dead? I don't know. Well, yes there is.
Oh, good. Is there a resurrection of the dead? Yes, there is. Ohhh good.
Is there a resurrection of the dead? And over and over and
over and over and over and over and nobody can move past the resurrection
of the dead and whether it happens or not. Now, was this an important thing in Judaism?
Yes! We talked about this. That was the main difference between the Pharisees and Saducees. The Pharisees
loved the idea of an afterlife, and therefore resurrection, and they knew that angels
were involved in all of these. The Saducees said, "No, we're going to take the Torah
"absolutely literally, and the Torah doesn't talk about resurrection, so therefore,
"there is no resurrection." Kinda hard to ignore the evidence,
when you know, as a Saducee, you're standing there, and Jesus comes up and raises this kid to life.
Well that couldn't have happened!
He must not have been dead, he was just sleeping. You've heard the arguments. That's what
these people were doing. Eternal judgement.
Who wants to get past the idea of eternal judgement, when your idea of holiness
is the Law? You don't want to go there.
You notice, "if you finish these things,"
If you finish them, and they really are your foundation,
then what you have is the foundation upon which to build a relationship with Jesus.
Because He's going to use that foundation to build a relationship with you.
That's what righteousness is about. Hello! You're My child,
now. You ready? Well, I'm not sure... No!
Let the foundation be the foundation. I'm building the house.
I'm building a church and you're it!
I need you to be this 4 x 4 right here in this door way.
Are you willing to do that? Well, I don't know. Oh, come on! Only
you can be that particular piece of the building. You are uniquely qualified
Uniquely suited, uniquely gifted to be that piece of my house.
Let Me do that for you! That's not what these people
wanted to hear. Well in the context of the Law, how can there be a
house that's not the temple? We got the temple..
it's been built 2 and a half times now.
It's really nice, we like to go there... No! You're my house, I don't want to
be Your house. I want that to be my house. You see the argument
that's going on in people's mind? This teacher is dealing
with these kinds of situations. So He finally gets down to it,
with the root cause is unbelief.
How is this unbelief explained? First of all, crucifying Jesus all over again.
Remember that word
"fall away"? Talked about it two weeks ago. I said it differently
when I read the passage. That's not tripping over a crack in the sidewalk and skinning your
knee. There's intent behind it. There's a refusal to accept
what's true, and therefore sticking your finger in God's eye, and saying
I don't want to hear it anymore. That's an issue of unbelief.
Here's the other one: Subjecting Jesus to public disgrace.
This is one
that I think that we in the United States have particular difficulty with.
Many of the things I've read
from various atheists or skeptics or ...you know... anti-religious
many of what many of the people who were
who were so upset about the travesty of a vote at the Democratic National Convention
this week. What they were upset about. First of all was
the travesty of the vote. Give me a break, folks.
You know, if you want to state a platform, state the platform and let the chips
fall where they may. But no, we can't do that.
So the people who are against God, generally speaking are against God
because of people like you and me. How many Christians
always wagging their fingers at people; always judging people.
I can't prove this, but in my heart of hearts,
I believe that the whole issue about abortion, is because churches never accepted
a pregnant girl.
Some of you probably had family that were sent away.
What happened to Missy? Ohhhh she's on a trip.
Missy comes back from the trip, no baby, but plenty
of judgement.
How do most Christians....so called Christians respond to the whole homosexual
situation? 'Gimme my gun, I want to kill me some people,'
Why??
Why? You don't have to accept something to love
someone...if you've got the Holy Spirit living in you.
If you don't have the Holy Spirit living in you, then you have to accept what a person's doing in order to accept
them. Explain that to somebody who doesn't understand Jesus.
But if we would love if we've been loved, if we would forgive as we've been forgiven,
we wouldn't be subjecting Jesus to public disgrace.
It's time to start accepting people
where they are and bringing them to Jesus, and let the spirit deal with them.
I'll never forget in my church,
we'd been working and working and working with Bill, and
Bill's a nice guy, and Bill would make such a great Adventist.
But Bill smokes. (chuckles from the audience)
So, we gotta make sure Bill quits, before he can be accepted
by us, or accepted by God. So Bill struggles and struggles and struggles
and struggles, and finally gets victory, and we welcome
him into the church. Then imagine Bill's chagrin
when, you know, six months, a year, or whatever. Stress gets to him
and you walk outside, and there's Bill, puffing away.
Talk about condemnation. How many of you
went to churches where whenever the Lord's Supper was celebrated,
half the congregation didn't show up, and a quarter of the people who
did come, suddenly were looking at their watches uncomfortably, and went outside
why? Because I'm not worthy.
We have got such a long way to go, folks.
We're so arrogant in our beliefs, so proud in
fact that whatever I do that's wrong, it's not nearly as
bad as them.
The writer of the Hebrews is calling them on these attitudes. They are attidues
of unbelief. Attitudes of unbelief, and they
he draws an analogy. Two kinds of land.
The rain falls on all the land. Did you notice that?
Verse 7: Land drinks in the rain often falling on it.
Well, one of these lands produces a crop and receives
God's blessings. So, the analogy here
is that God is raining on the just and unjust,
alike. If those of us who claim to be belivers
would allow God's rain to produce a harvest in us,
we receive a blessing and those around us recive a blessing too.
But then you've got some land that produces thorns and thistles,
and is in great danger, and if it doesn't change in the end, will be burned.

This is
a salvation issue. We'll see that in just a second.
This is a salvation issue. The difference between
what we're teaching and what other churches teach, is that
I think the context of this passage is screaming
that there are saved people and lost people among us. If you're lost,
it's time to wake up.
Fixing your problem is as simple as accepting Jesus. Nothing more
easy than that. Instead we try to
make it hard. Oh no, there's things that I don't understand yet, when I understand it all,
then I'll accept it. Again, He is the God of the universe; infinite in all ways.
Oh, but I'll figure it out. Oh, so that makes you God?
Well, I guess so...Good luck with that! See what I mean when I say
that the passage if you'll allow my brutal translation,
of it, poking God in the eye? I'm better than you, I'm better than you.
I'm better than you, leave me alone. How does Paul put it
in Romans? Eventually God gives them over.
Nothing more terrifying than that. God says,
That's your choice, okay....there ya go.
See if you can be God. Not a good place to be.
So, how do we turn this around? Well, he said
I'm confident of better things. Look how he says
this. "Even though we speak like this dear friends, we are confident of better
"things in your case, things that accompany salvation."
That's how you know, that this
impossibility stuff... "be brought back again",
that's talking to lost people. Because there are saved people in that
set of congregations, and he wants the lost people
to come to their senses, so they can put
forth the things by the Spirit, that accompany salvation.
So it's a clear warning, but it's a warning
to those who have been play acting.
We have a choice, we can accept the Jesus who is,
the Jesus who initiates to us the most amazing
things. What God in the history of
of humanity, that has been invented by humans,
ever forgave anyone? None of them.
They...you might be able to appease them. That's where child-sacrifice
came from. Animals weren't enough. We needed something that mattered. So we'll take your children.
You could appease them, but they never initiated forgiveness
to you. What God in the human pantheon
ever loved? Seems to me that most of
the gods they described lusted, they didn't love.
Oooo there's a cute one! Let's go down and have children with that one!
What kind of god is that? That's a god created in my image.
Then Jesus comes and offers a real alternative.
The only alternative. The only sensible way of thinking
about life that matters, is to think of it in terms of Jesus.
Sometimes, you have to hear,
all of those traditions that you used to hold on to? It's time to let them go.
I'm not saying I won't bring back some of those traditions, but the
way you're holding on to them, makes them an idol. So you need to let go of them, and let Me
rebuild you from the inside out, and then when you're part of my house and celebrating accordingly,
you will discover that you're doing certain things. You don't read the Bible
in order to get to know Jesus, because if you don't read it, He's not going to like you; you read the Bible
because Jesus has revealed Himself in you, and you can't wait to find out what it means.
That's the difference.
So, he's certain that there can be better things, if we will accept Jesus.
Why is that? It's because God is not unjust.
Interesting way to present it to
the Jews he was writing to, interesting way to present it to us.
How many times do we say, "Well, God, it's not fair!"
Indeed. It's not fair. What would be fair?
SMITE! That's what would be fair, you know?
First time you cut somebody off on a freeway,
I"m not talking about being cut off, but you're cut off.
You cut somebody off. If God was fair, He would kill you right on the spot.
and you'd think, that's not fair, because the person behind is now going to run into the wreckage.
But the person behind cursed at you, so they were destroyed as well.
So there's no accident, there's just *poof!* dust on the
road. (chuckles from the audience) The person behind
them curses God because, "That's so unfair!" and then their gone. I mean, think about it,
If God was fair, He would kill
us all. He wouldn't waste a millisecond on this
poor excuse for beings.
But what did He do instead? He loved us.
He reached down to us with Himself, and became one of us.
He is not unjust. He is not unjust.
How does Paul put it in Romans 3? So he can be
just and the justifier. He took care of the whole thing.
and the problem is, unbelief.
I do not believe God is just, so therefore I'm not going to trust Him.
The writer of the Hebrews is saying, "Don't go there!"
As long as it's today, come back to reality.
He will not forget
your work. Now, this is... he's saying this to people who are
having these things that accompany salvation coming out of them.
There are other people who are lost, who are trying to imitate those actions, and wondering why it's not working.
If you belong to God, He's doing the work in you,
He's not going to forget your work. He's not
going to forget the love that you show HIm. And, he's not going to forget
the love you showed to others. Now where does all of this come from? The indwelling Holy Spirit.
If you don't have the Spirit, if all you've got is the Law, by the way, that's
a...a strong statement, and you have to think about it,
if you dont' have the indwelling Spirit, your only option is to have the Law.
We're born dead. We're not born neutral.
Boy that took me a long time to learn.
Because you know, I was trying to tiptoe along the top of the fence.
hoping that one day, I would understand enough about God, to choose
Him. And I
wondered why I kept finding myself having fallen off the fence into the punjy stakes all the time.
You know what punji stakes are. We learned about them in Vietnam.
You dig a hole in the ground, and you put pointed sticks
and then you covered the hole, disguise it. Some hapless person comes walking
around and steps into that hole, and falls into the stickls. If it doesn't kill them outright, they normally die
of infection. Terrible, terrible stuff. That's what sin is, that's what
living in death is. So many of us think
that if we can just walk on that fence, long enough to figure out God
we won't fall into the stakes, but we can choose God, and what God is telling us,
is all we're doing is laying there on our backs, with this stuff sticking through us, we're looking
at the fence. He's saying, "Would you like me to carry you out
"of that mess and over the fence?" The writer
here is begging these people to let God pick them up out of the muck
take them into salvation, and then work these things through
them. You can't love somebody if you're
under Law. Because if you're under Law, then those people must
satisfy you. There are difference between
eros love and agape love. Eros love is very, very
objective. "I love you because"
and if you don't do the things that I love you because of, I will not love
you anymore. That's the Law. That's the laws that flows through us.
The Law that flows through dead people. Once you've
accepted Jesus and the Spirit comes to live inside of you, then there's this thing called
agape love. I can't really explain it, because it's not
I can't describe it in terms of "if-then", it's just "then"
God loves me. So I love you.
I can't explain that. I don't love you in a way that I'm using you,
I love you in a way that builds you up in Christ as well, or brings you to Christ.
Even if you don't accept Christ, I still love you. I don't judge you.
I may not agree with you, but I can still love you
even if I don't agree with you. You can always spot the legalist, when the love
has a 'because' after it. "I love you because"
Because you are doing something right... or not doing something wrong, or whatever
the stuff is. He is
offering the way out.
Things that accompany salvation. How do we do that?
By settling it. Make a decision. Settle it now.
Show diligence to the very end
in order to make your hope sure.
I'll bet most of you had jobs that you didn't like very well
at one time or another. What was the best way to get that job done?
One step at a time. One piece of the job, and then the next
piece of the job. You don't look at the end result and say, "I've gotta stack 10,000 boxes"
You look at this box. Then the next box. That's diligence.
We have to be diligent, because we have this constant
battle with the flesh. My flesh is screaming at me, "Bail now!"
God's not fair! You're going to do all
this stuff, and then He's going to whack you anyway. That's what my flesh is
telling me. God is saying, "I love you more than you can
"possibly know. More than you can possibly imagine."
So be diligent.
Walk by faith, not by sight.
so what does diligence mean in the context of faith? In everything that comes along, every decision,
every action, you do it based on the indwelling spirit.
Lord, what do you want me to do in this case? If you don't get an answer,
then you do the thing you most think, that He would want you to do.
By faith. Not by sight. You do it by faith.
If it was the wrong thing, what does the Spirit say? "Well, that didn't work out very well, did it?"
"Let's try this again" No condemnation.
He makes it easy to be diligent.
Stop being lazy. Oh there's a hard
one. What does the lazy child of God look like?
I don't think there is a lazy child of God. But there are a lot
of people acting like Children of God, play acting like Children of God, who are lazy beyond all
understanding. Those are the people who just want milk.
Don't give me the hard stuff. I can't deal with it.
Then you realize your whole life you've been lactose intolerant.
Because God made you that way. He made you to grow.
He made you to grow, He didn't make you to suck on a bottle.
Imitate those who through
faith and patience inherit what has been promised.
Look at this...there's the word "hope", there's the word "faith", "patience".
sure...promised...diligent..
you see what the life in the spirit is supposed to look like?
He didn't say this is easy, he
said "it's finished!" Right?
Why did God rest in the Garden? Because it was finished.
Why can we rest in Him today? Because it is finished.
What's going to happen eventually in the future?
Restoration, "It is finished"
That's what he's asking these people to do; is to finish this; to settle this.
Either accept Jesus Christ for who He is and what He has done, and will continue to do,
or reject Him. Make a clear choice.
Oh, by the way, if you reject Him, you'll discover that I even love
you then. Now I can deal with you straight up, because we're being honest.
You still have a chance, because you still have a 'today', to come back and accept Him.
Remember that thing about coming back to repentance?
They haven't repented. When you repent,
you know it. It's a one time, forever deal.
If you're still going back and forth, "Well Lord, what do you think? I don't know.
You haven't repented. So repent! Or tell God
leave me alone! and He'll say, nope. I'll let you go,
but I won't leave you alone. Because the day God leaves you alone is the
end. Then you will be finished.
What a clear choice. I can either be finished myself, or
I can be more than I possibly imagined, because Jesus finished it for me.
That's the choice. So often
we've looked at this passage as the least hopeful passage in the whole
Bible. Until we get over to chapter 10, then it gets worse.
It's not the case at all.
He's just asking the people who refuse to accept
Jesus straight up, to quit being cowards. Make a choice.
Finish this. Make it sure!
Be who He has called you to be, because
you know that anything He calls you to, has been prepared in advance for you.
Stop being afraid.
Start letting Jesus be who He is. Let's pray.
Lord, we look at passages like this and
we get afraid.
Oh my, is God going to get me, because I've messed up? That's not what this passage
is talking about. Everyone of us messes up. There's no condemnation for that.
The problem is unbelief. When we
believe, even when we mess up, we know that we'll still accepted.
When we don't believe, even when we're good, we're not sure we are accepted.
Does anybody here today that is struggling with that,
put the doubts aside, hand them to Jesus,
ask Him to deal with you as only He can.
we thank You in advance Lord, for doing that.
In Your name, Amen.