Summary: Describes the strange choices some of God's people have been called to make.
2 Co 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
INTRODUCTION: The Christian life will involve choices that may seem at odds with the world, and even the "believers" around you. If we walk with Christ, the Bible warns us that others will think we're strange.
1 Peter 4:3,4 "For the time past of [our] life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with [them] to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of [you]"
We can take heart from the examples of others who also made such "strange" choices.
1.NOAH'S WILLINGNESS VERSES THE WORLD'S WICKEDNESS Heb 11:7 "By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”
A. HE CHOSE PURITY OVER PERVERSION. Gen. 6:5,8
> “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually…. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.”
> "Thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation." Gen 7:1
B. HE CHOSE FAITH OVER SIGHT.
> (Heb 11:7) "By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith."
C. HE CHOSE LABOR IN SPITE OF LAUGHTER.
> "Prepared an ark" (It was the labor of 120 years)
2. ABRAHAM'S FAITH AND LOT'S FOLLY Gen. 13:9,10
A. ABRAHAM CHOSE FAITH OVER FORTUNE.
> Heb 11:8-10 “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as [in]a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker[is] God.”
B. LOT CHOSE FORTUNE OVER FAITH AND FAMILY. (Gen 19)
> Gen. 13:12,13 “Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.”
1) The Path of perversion is usually a gradual decline.
3. MOSES WISDOM AND EGYPTS WEALTH Heb. 11:24-26
> “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.”
4. JOB'S BELIEF AND HIS WIFE'S BITTERNESS
A. JOB HAD A BIGGER PICTURE THAN HIS WIFE.
> Job 1:2021 “Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, 21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”
> Job 2:9,10 Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. But he said unto her, thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
5. ELIJAH'S FAITH AND HIS SERVANTS FEAR
2Ki 6:15-17 “And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that [be] with us [are] more than they that [be] with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain [was] full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.”
6. PAUL'S PURPOSE AND DEMAS' PLEASURE 2 Tim.4
> 2Ti 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished [my] course, I have kept the faith:
> 2Ti 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed…”