Summary: A trip through the "Faith Hall of Fame" in Heb. 11 to see God’s replies to some common reasons people give why they "can’t" be a Christian. *HANDOUT INCLUDED*
Read Heb. 11
I love to read about endurance records:
œ Longest time spent standing - 17 years man from India (leaning against a plank while sleeping)
œ Longest time spent in a tree - man in Indonesia has been in a tree since 1970.
œ Longest time doing CPR - two teams from England did CPR on a dummy for 144 hours.
œ Longest non stop ocean swim by woman - 122 miles from Mexico to Cuba in 38 hrs. 33 min.
œ Longest typewriting marathon - Les Stewart - 16 years typing the numbers 1-1,000,000 on 19,990 sheets of paper.
œ Longest time balanced on one foot - a man from India - 76 hours 40 minutes.
œ Longest distance walking on hands - man from Austria - 870 miles over 55 days, in 10-hour stints.
Frankly, I’m not really interested in developing this kind of endurance. However, I know that we all need endurance to "stick with it" spiritually.
Ga 6:9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. (NKJV)
How many of you know someone who USED to be a Christian, but who has thrown up their hands and given up?
What are some reasons people quit spiritually?
Let’s take some time tonight and look at God’s replies to those ideas:
1. No one else is going Godfs way. - Tell that to Noah.
Heb 11:7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
2. God requires too much commitment. - Tell that to Abraham!
Heb 11:8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise;
10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
3. Ifve been treated wrongly. - Tell that to Joseph!
Heb 11:22 By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones.
- This passage doesnft specifically deal with the situation, but most of us know the story of Joseph!
Hated by his brothers. . . sold into slavery by his brothers. . . progressed to Business manager. . . lied about. . . spent time in jail. . .
4. The pleasures of sin are too alluring. - Tell that to Moses!
Heb 11:24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter,
25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,
26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.
5. I canft rise above my past. - Rahab
Heb 11:31 By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.
Practical Tips to Help us Remain faithful:
1. Pick a Model.
Choose one of the people above, or another person who has remained faithful through hardships.
2. Do the glittleh things.
Devotional time (reading the Bible, prayer, memorizing Scripture, attending church regularly)
3. Get involved in a ministry.
Find a way to exercise your gifts as a Christian, and youfll be amazed at how it strengthens you over time!
4. Find a partner to challenge you and gprovoke you to good works.h
Heb. 12 ggreat cloud of witnessesh - They are sitting in the grandstands as we run our race.
The time was the 19th of May, 1780. The place was Hartford, Connecticut. The day has gone down in New England history as a terrible foretaste of Judgment Day. For at noon the skies turned from blue to gray and by mid-afternoon had blackened over so densely that, in that religious age, men fell on their knees and begged a final blessing before the end came. The Connecticut House of Representatives was in session. And as some men fell down and others clamored for an immediate adjournment, the Speaker of the House, one Colonel Davenport, came to his feet. He silenced them and said these words: "The Day of Judgment is either approaching or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause for adjournment. If it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. I wish, therefore, that candles may be brought."