Summary: Maybe you know someone who has lost their faith. So many times that person becomes bitter, negative and miserable! We have a growing number of people who despise the God of the Bible and now are devoted to the god of the New Age!
It’s truly a sad day when someone loses their faith in God during the dark days of life and walks away from Him. Maybe you know someone who has lost their faith and their life is so different than it used to be. So many times that person becomes bitter, negative and miserable! Do you know someone like that?
Ted Turner, the founder of CNN – a billionaire and strong critic of Christianity. In fact he said, “Christianity is for losers!”
I did a little research on him and found out why he is so bitter and miserable when you mention God in his presence. According to one article, Ted dreamed of being a missionary at one time in his life. But one day all that changed when his sister, Mary Jane, died from an immune system disease at a young.
He said, “I was taught that God was love and God was powerful and I couldn’t understand how someone so innocent should be allowed to suffer.”
The sad part of this - we have cities everywhere that are full of people who had their faith fly out the window of life! Sadder still, we have a growing number of people who despise the God of the Bible and now are devoted to the god of the New Age!
How Faith’s Finish Line Is Experienced:
1. Faith’s Foundation Must Be Locked In. Vs. 1-3, 13, 27
LifePoint: Faith is grounded in the confidence of God’s presence in today’s unsettledness and the conviction in God’s promises working in tomorrow’s unseen.
I love the story about the family that was going to Disneyland for the first time together. The night before, Dad is putting his son to bed; then his son reaches up for Dad and gives Dad a big hug and says, “Dad, thanks for tomorrow!” How do you know if you have strong faith – do you thank God for tomorrow!
2. Faith’s Fame Must Lead Us On. Vs. 4-32
18 times “By faith” is used.
3. Faith’s Fearlessness Must Launch Us Over. Vs 27
a. Troubled waters. Vs. 29
b. Towering walls. Vs. 30
c. Trial’s weight. Vs. 32-35a
d. Torturous ways. Vs. 35b
e. Temptation’s work. Vs. 37
Cory Ten Boom said the greatest statement about faith, “Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible.”
4. Faith’s Family Mercifully Looks On. 12:1-3
It’s as if the writer is assuring us that those in chapter 11, as a family, are motivating and encouraging us on! We get a glimpse of the winner’s circle in heaven. Every athlete wants to be in the winner circle, getting the gold metal – why is it that so many Christians take doing their best for Jesus so casually?
As a Christian, you and I are in a race! God put us into faith’s race to finish powerfully and boldly! No telling how some of us may look when we get to the finish line in heaven! Maybe a little battered, maybe a little bruised, maybe a little bloody – Why? Because if you really live for Jesus, life gets a little messy and we can’t always get through life untouched and unscarred during the race!
Verse 1: “race” = agony
The Christian faith calls for the disciple of an athlete, the endurance of a runner and the determination of a champion! Do you realize that the moment you got saved, God built you a custom-built race track – it’s only for you! I can’t run on it and you can’t run on my race track.
The good news is - there’s only there’s only one person you’re to be concerned about during faith’s race - YOU! The bad new is – this race is for the rest of your life!
The good new – every Christian will finish the race. The bad news – not every Christian will win the race! Listen, God is not looking for just runners, He’s looking for winners! People with faith that prays big, believes big, serves big, loves big and strives for the impossible!
1 Corinthians 9:24 “Remember that in the race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize. You also must run in such a way that you will win.” NLT
So, What Can Faith’s Family Teach Us?
• Lay Beside Whatever Weights You Down. Vs. 1a
Picture the Roman Coliseum is jammed packed and everyone is watching us from a distance!
“Witnesses” = those who have gone on before us – they’ve already run faith’s race and they are waiting for us to join them in heaven! They want us in the winner’s circle with them!
Maybe there’s someone here today:
That has lost a family member, a great friend and you just want to quite! But wait, there’s Job looking down from heaven’s balcony say…