Summary: Hebrews chapter eleven tells how to live by faith.
INTRO.- ILL.- A guide was conducting a group of tourists around the Empire State Building. On the elevator ride to the 102nd floor, a nervous woman asked, “What if these elevator cables should break? Would we go up or down?” “That,” the guide said, “depends entirely on the kind of life you’ve been living.”
Brothers and sisters, when you ride an elevator, do you worry that the cables might break? If you don’t, it’s a matter of faith. It’s a matter of faith in something or someone.
ILL.- An airplane flew into a violent storm and was soon swaying and bouncing around. One very nervous lady happened to be sitting next to a preacher and turned to him for comfort. She said, “Can’t you do something about this?” He replied, “Sorry, ma’am, I’m in sales, not management.”
Have you flown anywhere lately? Does it make you nervous? If not, it’s because you have faith in the plane, the pilot, or the greater Pilot.
ILL.- When they wheeled a man into the operating room and raised his gown, the surgeon found a piece of tape pasted across his stomach, which read, “Think.”
Have you ever had surgery in which you were knocked out for a period of time? Did you wonder if you would make it?
I’m sure that some people worry when they think about being “put under” for surgery and others don’t sweat it at all. WHY IT IS THAT SOME PEOPLE DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT? I think it’s a matter of faith. For some, it’s a matter of faith in the doctor. They trust their doctor and of course, some have faith in the Great Physician.
ILL.- Someone asked a stranger, “Do you believe in survival of the fittest?” The man replied, “No, I don’t believe in the survival of anybody. I’M THE UNDERTAKER.”
What are your chances of surviving another day? It may depend on your family health history.
What are your chances of living for many years? People of all ages die every day, but most people don’t worry about dying. Why? IT’S CALLED FAITH. It’s either faith in their age, their health or faith in the Creator that He will allow them to live longer.
II Cor. 5:7 “We walk by faith, not by sight.”
We are encouraged in Scripture to walk by faith, to live by faith. Many people of the world scoff at this faith business, but in reality, ALL PEOPLE LIVE BY FAITH! They live by faith in something or someone, whether they want to admit it or not.
So when some person says to you that they don’t believe in this “faith business,” just remind them they, too, live by faith and then give them a simple illustration of that fact.
Faith is a matter of believing in something or someone and trusting that they will perform properly.
ILL.- I have faith that my car will get me where I’m going, but I have an even greater faith in my God who will get me to heaven! This is the kind of faith by which we live!
Heb. 11:6 “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.”
To please God, we must live by faith. Faith in Him and His promises. Our text in Hebrews 11 speaks of this living faith.
PROP.- I want to speak about three veterans of faith who teach us about living by faith.
1- Abel – faith worshipping
2- Enoch – faith walking
3- Noah – faith working
I. ABEL – FAITH WORSHIPPING
Heb. 11:4 “By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.”
Faith must worship and worship with the right attitude.
ILL.- Three pastors got together for coffee one day and found all their churches had bat-infestation problems. "I got so mad," said one, "I took a shotgun and fired at them. It made holes in the ceiling, but did nothing to the bats."
"I tried trapping them alive," said the second. "Then I drove 50 miles before releasing them, but they beat me back to the church." "I haven’t had any more problems," said the third. "What did you do?" asked the others, amazed. "I simply baptized them and I haven’t seen them since."
Brothers and sisters, if we know anything about the Word of God at all, we know that faith worships or it isn’t faith at all.
Some people join a church, come for a while and then you never seen them again. That’s not faith or much faith at all.