Summary: My assurance is based on God's grace.
Title: I’m Sure
Text: Hebrews 11.1-12, 39
CT: My assurance is based in God’s grace.
FAS: With tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, and financial concerns dominating headline news, National Geographic initiated a survey about what Americans' think about a potential "Doomsday scenario. Here are some of the key findings:
• More than 62 percent of Americans think the world will experience a major catastrophe in the next 20 years.
• The four most likely disaster scenarios include (in order) a significant earthquake, a significant hurricane, a terrorist attack, a financial collapse.
• 71 percent envision a major disaster in their lifetime as an "act of God, not man."
• 85 percent said they are not ready for a devastating event; 25 percent claim they've done absolutely nothing to prepare for a major disaster.
• When asked what people would do the night before they thought the world might end, these were the three highest answers—Resolve feuds with loved ones (27 percent), Have sex (24 percent), and Stock up on resources (20 percent).
Meghan Gleason, Nat Geo TV Blogs, "The Results Are In: Is It the End of the World as We Know It? Survey Says!"
With images of Harvey and Irma it is easy to start thinking about what we may be facing in the near future. The National Weather Service has a new warning system. The system alerts people of not only the approaching storm but of the probability of coastal flooding. Half the deaths from hurricanes are related to these storm surges.
The purpose of the warning is to reduce the number of people killed. They hope people will prepare by either evacuating or hunker down. A spokesman said, The numbers-statistics-don’t matter. What matters is, if a hurricane is going to hit you, you’re prepared for it.
Which causes me to wonder. Has heaven been sending us national and global storm warnings? Blood moons. Solar eclipses. Wars and rumors of wars. Earthquakes. Plagues. The falling away of God’s Word from the church.
While no one knows if these are warnings, it seems reasonable to prepare for the worst by checking our spiritual assuredness.
Read Hebrews 11.1-12, 1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.
3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
4 By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.
5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.
8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.
9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
What can we take from this scripture? It offers us a lot.
Sure of Hope. We can be sure of our hope. Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance of what we do not see. There is a big difference between “hope–so” and true Biblical hope. The Bible is full of what we hope for. We can count on these things.
Romans 8.28, And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Makes me feel pretty good to know God is working for me.