Summary: Encouragement to enter and finish the Christian Race in the closing days of time.
Life: The Greatest Olympics
Hebrews 11:39 –12:2
Preached by John Ingham –August 2004
1.There is nothing quite like it. Have you ever been in a large stadium full of people cheering for a team or even more…for you as you were participating in a sporting event? How the adrenalin flows!
2.There are some huge stadiums. Our own Sanford Stadium, the home of the Georgia Bulldogs holds 91,100. But we are in a great amphitheater far larger than any ever built on this earth.
3.Those pictured as being in the stands are the men and women of faith described in Hebrews 11. What is it that Paul has to say about these heroes that makes them
stand out from others in the Bible.
4.Paul says they are people of great faith.
5.Are there other attributes that make these people stand out? Yes there are many:
A.Abel was a worshipper. He offered a true sacrifice of praise to God.
B.Enoch was a holy man who walked with God so closely one day God took him home with Him.
C.Noah was a righteous man who was the only preacher in a sinful world.
D.Abraham was an obedient man. God loves obedience better than sacrifice so this is a superior attribute.
E.Isaac was faithful to the great traditions of the faith heritage.
F.Joseph was a man of great vision and personal holiness.
G.Moses was a man of unusual humility.
H.Joshua was the General Swartskoff of the Old Testament –a man of great courage.
6.But Paul has them stand front and center to show us their attribute of FAITH. He is saying that with regards to the race of life, faith is the one attribute that we need to look at. Each one has a faith lesson that will help us to begin the race, to properly run the race, and in finishing the race set before us as a winner. Jesus says in Luke18:8, “When the son of man returns to the earth will he find faith on the earth?”
I. You see there is a race set before us.
A.Not what many nominal church members see.
1. Some see it as a social affair.
2. Some see it as a personal platform
a. for business, b. politics, c. fame
3. Some are too lazy to run
4. Some just never get started
B. What some make it become because of a wrong perception of race
1. Place of bickering and backbiting
2. Place of gossiping
C. This is what the race meant to these men of faith. Here is the reason for their faith or the object of their faith.
1.HEAVEN: To Abraham it was a call to leave Ur of the Chaldees. Itwas a race whose finish line is “a city whose builder and ruler was God”… the New Jerusalem and Heaven!
2.A DREAM: For Joseph it was a dream. Many of us have lost our dream, but not Joseph. Every leader should have a dream for his people as well as for himself. Martin Luther King had a dream. Well,I have a dream too. People freed from the bondage of sin. Revival in
Sunday School class, youth group and household. I have a dream for Christian Life Worship Center. (Repeat area where you have a dream)
3.CHILDREN: We know that the parents of Moses were Amran and Jocabed. Paul identifies them only as the parents of Moses. I bleive hta was pueposely done sothat all parents could identify with their plight. They had as their reason for faith the salvation of their child. They committed their boy into God’s hands in the most dangerous time of history for a male child. Parents we can run in that race too! Many times most difficult point is after we have built the ark of flax and pitch and the time has come to take our hands off, and we watch the current take them away.We’ve got to remember that God directs the currents.
a. Illustration: The Bay of Fundy at the head of the St. Lawrence River is 110 miles long and 32 miles wide when it empties into the Bay, it is a spectacle to see the currents of the mighty St.Lawrence rushing to meet the tides of the Atlantic Ocean. You would think there could never be anything that could stop the
raging flow of the St. Lawrence. But every evening at the changing of the tide the flow of the St. Lawrence can be seen slowing. The Atlantic tide comes in little by little at 29, 30 and 40 feet until it reaches a height of 70 feet. The tide pushes and pushes until suddenly it reverses the river and flows towards its
source. It is at this time that huge ships can enter the St.Lawrence River to gain access to the Great Lakes. I submit to you that it is time for the spiritual tides of God’s blessings to come in becasue youhave trusted your children into God’s hands. If you have had faith, Parents what ever Satan does that