Summary: It is not how we start the life of faith, its how we finish!
Hebrews 11:20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. 21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones.-NKJV
Intro: King Solomon by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote the following words in…
Ecclesiastes 7:2 It is better to spend your time at funerals than at parties. After all, everyone dies— so the living should take this to heart.
The bible tells us that the fear of death enslaves us:
Hebrews 2: 14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way…
And although the bible calls it an enemy…
1 Corinthians 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
For the Christian it is a friend!
Philippians 1: 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Why? Billy Graham states it this way…
Billy Graham-“What is death? For the Christian, death is a friend rather than an enemy. It is another step on the pathway to heaven rather than a leap into some dark unknown.”
Yet we rarely see it that way do we? He also stated that…
Billy Graham-“We are not prepared to live, until we are prepared to die.”
Because as another commentator put it…
“Life is not comprehended truly or lived fully unless the idea of death is grappled with honestly.”
AND SO I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE US TO THIS THOUGHT THROUGH THIS MESSAGE I’VE ENTITLED
Dying in Faith!
My proposition from this scripture passage is: That a character study of those who died in faith as they are recorded in the 11th chapter of Hebrews, will reveal to us what dying in faith looks like!
Let’s consider first of all..
I. THE PERSON that depict this ideal in our passage:
1. Whose name means laughter!
Genesis 21:5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. 6 Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.”
II. Some PARTICULARS of this man’s life?
A) Miraculous birth!
1. Dad was 100, mom 90!
Genesis 21: 5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
2. Child of promise – of the Abrahamic Covenant!
Genesis 17: 18 And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!” 19 Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.
B) Mundane life?
1. It has been said of Isaac:
“Isaac is the unspectacular son, of a spectacular father, and the unspectacular father of a spectacular son.”
2. Basically a benefactor of his father’s faithfulness!
Genesis 25: 5 Abraham left everything he owned to Isaac.
Genesis 26: 2 The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. 3 Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. 4 I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, 5 because Abraham obeyed me and did everything I required of him, keeping my commands, my decrees and my instructions.”
III. HIS PROMINENCE?
What made his life noteworthy and acceptable for the hall of faith?
A) The way he died!
1. It is not so much how you start but how you finish the race of life!
1 Timothy 1: 15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.