Summary: One of the greatest dangers facing Christians is to lose sight of the basis of our hope. When we become so burdened with the stormy blasts of life that we forget out hope, then we face the slippery slope of sluggish ness, doubt, and even worse, the possi
An Anchor of HopeHebrews 6:9-20Intro In the first part of chapter six, we saw the warning that was issued to those that had never moved pasted the stage of spiritual immaturity and the peril that would face them. And those words from the author would cause most to look at their salvation. I believe that the author of Hebrews know this and uses the rest of this chapter to share with us words of encouragement. He encouraged them and us today not to give up, to move on to maturity and to not become sluggish in their faith. He also reminds them of the value of faithfulness by holding out the example of Abraham in both patience and in service. He also reminds them that God gives his promise of a blessing and will never go against His own word. One of the greatest dangers facing Christians is to lose sight of the basis of our hope. When we become so burdened with the stormy blasts of life that we forget out hope, then we face the slippery slope of sluggish ness, doubt, and even worse, the possibility of hardening our hearts against the gospel. So, to remedy this danger, the author reminds us of the promise of God. This evening I want to share with you the three fold encouragement available to all Christians.READ TEXTI. We have the Profound Comfort of the Person of God (vv. 13-16)a. Abraham is definitely a favorite O.T. character for this author and so many other N.T. authors.i. Here the writer of Hebrews brings to mind the scene of how the Lord encouraged Abraham to continue on in faith.ii. You will recall that Abraham was called out of paganism to follow after the Lord.iii. And he did just that, believing the promise of the Lord that he would bless him and make of him a great nation and that in him all the families of the earth would be blessed.iv. When he struggled with God’s fulfillment of the promise, the Lord gave him assurance and Abraham “believed the Lord” and that faith was accounted to him as righteousness.v. It was a long time before Isaac, the son of promise, was born to Abraham and Sarah.1. I am sure that the gap between the promise and its fulfillment was in the writer’s mind as he wrote exhorting the Christian’s to remember the example of Abraham.2. If things appear slow with God, it does not mean that He has forgotten or that He will not perform.b. And then God told Abraham the hardest thing imagineable, to offer his son as a sacrifice.i. Isaac was the immediate fulfillment of the promise, yet Abraham believed God could raise him from the dead to continue to fulfill his promise to him.ii. It was after that testing of his faith that the Lord confirmed through an oath that he would fulfill the promise given to him recorded in verses 13-15.c. The writer of Hebrews is reminding these struggling Christians that Abraham, who was living with much less light of revelation than themselves, continued on in faithfulness because God is faithful to accomplish what he has promised.i. And we too are to be encouraged in looking at these believers, who struggled as we do, yet persevered by the help of the Lord.II. We Have the Profound Comfort of the Promise of God (vv. 16-18)a. Why did God make an oath to Abraham?i. It was certainly not due to any unreliability on God’s part.ii. Rather the oath was due to the sinfulness of man.iii. Abraham already had God’s promise; that in itself should have been good enough.iv. But we see that Abraham did not ask God to swear to him; God chose to do it as an encouragement to Abraham.b. The strength of an oath is found in the character of the one offering it as well as the value placed upon the oath.i. If a habitual criminal makes an oath then you probably will discount his reliability.ii. But if he makes an oath on a Bible or swears by something he holds valuable, then you might have more cause to believe him.iii. For he would be saying, if I were lying, then the Bible upon which I swear is a lie.iv. Of if I am lying then my deceased mother upon whom I swear is a liar.c. By what would God swear?i. One swears by something greater, something of more value than themselves in order to give credibility to their oath.ii. When a witness takes a oath in court, he is confronted with the words, ‘so help me God.’ We call on the greater to witness for the lesser.iii. None is greater than God, so he swore by himself.1. God could go no higher than himself.2. Nothing can even come remotely close to exceeding the value and precious-ness of his word.iv. In verse 18, God’s purpose is given as an encouragement “to lay hold (or take hold) of the hope set before” you!v. The Lord worked on Abraham’s behalf and gave him great encouragement to put his hope in the divine promise and continue pressing on.d. But even more so, God has resolved to give you greater encouragement so that you might give up.i. But the promise made is only as valuable as the one who makes it.ii. So we are meant to be encouraged!iii. For it is God who makes the promise and “it is impossible for God to lie.”iv. Here is the bottom line: you can have complete confidence in the sufficiency of Christ and the gospel, for the God who has promised to save you and to bring you home to heaven cannot lie.III. We have the Profound Comfort of the Presence of God (vv. 19-20)a. Three descriptions of this anchor of hope.i. It is “Sure”1. The word implies that it is outwardly safe.2. There is nothing that can topple the believer’s hope.3. Paul had this same idea in mind when he penned the words found in Romans 8:38-39.“For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, not things to come, not height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”4. It is as if the Apostle Paul picked out every imaginable external opponent and declared that none of them could succeed to separate us from the intensity and security of Christ’s love.5. We are safe with the anchor of hope.ii. It is “Steadfast”1. This points to the inwardly stability of this anchor of hope, that it is firm within itself.2. In other words, there is no weakness in hope as the anchor of the soul.3. We do not have to concern ourselves with hope going bankrupt or encountering a scandal of some sort. 4. It is thoroughly established and firm.iii. The Place where the Anchor Rests1. An anchor grabs onto the floor of the ocean and holds the vessel securely.2. But the shifting sands of this world offer nothing to secure us for eternity.3. So our anchor does not go down to the ocean below, but upward into glories of heaven.4. For our anchor of hope is “one which enter the veil”5. The scene is that of the high priest who could only enter the Holy of Holies once a year and that with the sacrifice for the sins of Israel.6. He trembled as he entered knowing that he was in the presence of the Lord and that he dare not fail to carry out his duties.7. But once the duty was done, he immediately turned and walked out through the veil.8. But that is not the case with our anchor of hope!9. It is firmly anchored in heaven, on one end, and firmly attached to the believer’s soul on the other.10. And anchor does not do any good if it is solidly hooked onto the ocean floor but not tied to the boat!11. Our anchor of hope, is fixed securely in our lives through he work of Christ.b. Jesus is there as the one who went before us as our forerunner.i. The term as it is used here is one that describes the scouts who went ahead of the troops.ii. Just as the forerunner was one who was ahead of the troops, going before them, Christ, our savior, has gone on ahead.iii. And here is what he wants you to understand:1. We will be where Christ is, within the veil2. He has gone before us to prepare a place that we might be with Him forever.3. In fact he left us a message recorded in John 14:2-3“In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”Closing Where does your hope lie tonight. If you anchor is in this world, it will come loose and you will drift away. But if your anchor is planted in Christ and the hope that only He can give, it will hold for eternity.