Summary: We are called to keep the faith until the end!
Keeping the Faith
We need to focus on keeping the faith. We cannot allow ourselves to be lulled to sleep.
• It is so good to be with my church family today! AMEN!
• Last week we examined how Jesus is superior to all and how we have to be able to trust and embrace that fact.
• Understanding who Jesus is will help keep us focused on Him. If we doubt the supremacy of Christ, we can be quickly drawn off the path to following Him.
• Today we are going to build on the Supremacy of Christ and take it to a little bit of a deeper level.
• Today we are going to be in Hebrews 3:12-19 as we dive into a message entitled, Keeping the Faith. If we were to build on an analogy from last week, I could have entitled the message, STAYING ON THE PATH.
• When you embark on a journey, and you know where you are going, you know why you are going, there is another step in the journey.
• In our journey of faith, once we have embraced the supremacy of Christ, there is something vital for us to be able to complete our journey of faith, we have to stay on the path, we have to keep the faith.
• What happens, let’s say when you head off for a trip to St. Louis to see the Cardinals play baseball, but part of the way to St. Louis, you take a turn, and you start heading to Topeka, Kansas?
• Where will you end up? TOPEKA! When you get to TOPEKA, will you wonder why you are not in St. Louis?
• When you end up in Topeka, will you spend your time in Topeka scratching your head, wondering why you are not in St. Louis because, after all, you intended to be in St. Louis.
• Or let’s say on that same trip to get to St. Louis, you stop in Oklahoma City for the night, but then you stay in Oklahoma City. Will you wonder why you are in Oklahoma City because you intended to be in St. Louis.
• You are not in St. Louis because you stopped BEFORE you reached your intended destination.
• Sadly, these two scenarios can play themselves out this way in our journey of faith.
• Today we will examine some things that keeping the faith should lead one to do.
• Let’s turn to Hebrews 3:12
Hebrews 3:12 (CSB)
12Watch out, brothers and sisters, so that there won’t be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.
Keeping the faith should lead one to…
1. I. Guard one’s heart against unbelief.
• At the beginning of chapter 3, as well as the verses leading up to our text today, the Hebrew writer first begins the section with the plea to consider Jesus.
• He talks about how Jesus was faithful to His mission and calling; Then, the next few verses are a warning against unbelief.
• Now we are given some steps to help keep us off the path of unbelief.
• Staying on the right path, keeping the faith does not happen by accident. In verse 12, we are encouraged to watch out. Many versions translate this present tense imperative as take care, see to it.
• All of the versions give the idea of guarding, being on the lookout for something that is trying to invade your heart to take it captive.
• We have to be diligent in guarding our hearts and minds in Christ. The path to unbelief is usually a slow drift.
• Over time we have let our guard down, and we allow things to come into our heart and mind that will slowly infiltrate our thinking and worldview.
• Think about some of the social issues we deal with now. Look at the issue of the redefinition of marriage. That did not happen overnight; it was a slow drift toward where we are as a country today.
• This passage is an illustrative, historical reminder of the obstinate Israelites who died in the desert and were denied entrance to the land God had promised them.
• The readers are urged to hold on to their courage and hope as members of the household of God. They cannot turn their backs on Christ in unbelief, for turning away from Christ is falling away from God (Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of Hebrews (Vol. 15, p. 93). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.)