Summary: Athletic history records some leaps from worst to first. For example, the Minnesota Twins finished last in their division in 1990, yet came back to win the World Series in 1991, illustrating the maxim, “ it’s not how you begin, it’s how you finish!”
Being a Finisher Text: Hebrews 10: 32-39
But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings: 33 partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated; 34 for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven. 35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: 37 “For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. 38 Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.
Introduction: The writer of Hebrews say’s in vs. 32 remember how you were so greatly enlightened in the former days, and how you endured a great struggle with suffering. He is talking to a people who have endured many trails of reproach, tribulations and even had their goods stolen! These men and women were people who could be called in the 21st century-a finisher! They knew there was more for them; that the earth wasn’t their home; therefore, their assignment wasn’t finished- it had only just begun!
Vs. 34 for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven.
Hebrews tells us that we are stangers and pilgrams passing through!
Revelation 21:7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.
Athletic history records some leaps from worst to first. For example, the Minnesota Twins finished last in their division in 1990, yet came back to win the World Series in 1991, illustrating the maxim, “ it’s not how you begin, it’s how you finish!” Remember the story about the ‘turtle and the rabbit.’
Hebrew 10:35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.
Notice that the writer doesn’t just say, “A great reward- meaning when you reach heaven or a one time deal.” The writer say’s, “don’t cast away your confidence which has great reward- rewards now and latter in heaven!”
Remember the churches listed in Revelation 2 & 3 are types of the 21st century church. Let’s look at them for reference.
1. The church of Ephesus (the loveless church) Jesus say’s to them if you turn around Rev.2:7…I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”
2. The church of Smyrna (Those who say their Jews, but are a synagogue of satan.) Jesus say’s, “if you will turn around you won’t be hurt by the second death.”
3. The church of Pergamos (The compromising Church) Jesus say’s, “if you turn I will give some of My hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.
4. The church of Thyatira (The corrupt church) He say’s, “if you hold fast until I come I will give you power over the nations.”
5. The church of Sardis ( The dead church) Jesus say’s, Revelation 3:5 “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”
6. The church of Philadelphia (The faithful church) Revelation 3:12He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.
7. The church of Laodiceans (The lukewarm church) Revelation 3:21To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
What church (type) do you represent within the body?
The legendary runner, John A. Kelly (1907-2004), started a record 61 Boston Marathons, completed 58, finished as runner-up 7 times, and won 2 of these grueling 26.2 mile races. He was a three-time Olympic athlete and named Runner of the century by ‘Runner’s World’ Magazine. Boston honored him before his death with a larger than life statue in his likeness, commemorating his longevity in the marathon and life!