Summary: A sermon on Hebrews 11:32-40 (Based off of this Charles Spurgeon's sermon http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/2209.htm)
The next time you feel like GOD can't use you, just remember...
Noah was a drunk; Abraham was too old; Isaac was a daydreamer; Jacob was a liar; Leah was ugly; Joseph was abused; Moses had a stuttering problem; Gideon was afraid; Samson had long hair and was a womanizer; Rahab was a prostitute; Jeremiah and Timothy were too young; David had an affair and was a murderer; Elijah was suicidal; Isaiah preached naked; Jonah ran from God; Naomi was a widow; Job went bankrupt; John the Baptist ate bugs; Peter denied Christ; Martha worried about everything; The Samaritan woman was divorced, more than once; Zaccheus was too small; Paul was too religious; Timothy had an ulcer; AND Lazarus was dead!
As we look at the list of people in Hebrews 11 we could be overwhelmed and think that we are nothing compared to these people; Noah, Abraham, Moses, Gideon, David, Samuel.
As we look at vs. 35 to 38 we notice that many are not mentioned by name who endured terrible sufferings and persecutions for the faith. This list in not exhaustive. Vs. 32.
We can be in roll call of faithful is we have faith like them. Not in Bible but among faithful.
As we begin to let our faith do the talking and walking we will soon discover our weaknesses. Don’t think that this list of heroes of the faith did not have weaknesses. This chapter is highlighting their great accomplishments, not their failures.
2 Corinthians 2:16: Who is equal to such a task? We begin to say, Not I. We must have strength from above, and that strength can only come to us through faith.
James 5:17: Elijah was a man just like us. That can be said of all these heroes. Weak like us
Toast to North Carolina: Here's to the land of the long leaf pine, The summer land Where the sun doth shine, Where the weak grow strong and the strong grow great, Here's to 'down home,' the Old North State! I appreciate North Carolina but NC did not make me strong. NC and situations in life made me dependent on the Lord and the Lord gave me strength.
Hebrews 11:34: whose weakness was turned to strength
Thesis: 2 items for discussion this morning; 1) Faith makes us strong for holy living 2) Faith makes us strong to endure suffering.
Faith makes us strong for holy living
The first duty of a Christian is to obey God. Talked about last week with Abraham and Isaac
1. We don’t like to obey. We want to call the shots. We can’t stand to have someone else tell us how to live and what to do.
2. John 14:23: Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
3. How can a holy God come and live with an unholy sinner? Plan of salvation:
A) Believe B) Repent.
C) Confess. Good Confession, “I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God and I want Him to be my Lord and Savior.
That word Lord is an old English word that refers to the Master of the manor. All who lived on the manor were servants to the lord. When Peter was speaking with Cornelius he said in Acts 10:36: You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.
Notice Romans 10:9-10: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
Most people want him to be their Savior but few really want him to be their Lord.
D) Be baptized. Acts 2:38
4. At second coming 2 Thessalonians 1:8: He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
5. We are saved by grace through faith. Faith leads us to obey, first the plan of salvation, then the teachings of Jesus Christ.
James 2:19: You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that and shudder.
B. Strength to overcome sin.
Bad anger- James 1:20: man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires
Drugs or alcohol- Ephesians 5:18: Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
Whatever it is, we will never overcome except by faith in Jesus Christ.
Keith Miller- “churches are filled with people who outwardly look contented and at peace but inwardly are crying out for someone to love them…just as they are – confused, frustrated, often frightened, guilty, and often unable to communicate. the people in the church look so happy and contented that one seldom has the courage to admit his own deep needs before such a self-sufficient group as the average church appears to be.”