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Summary: These verses focus on some vital issues for Christians who live in critical days. A person’s faith is not affected usually by a single catastrophic event. It’s more like a grinding-away. A constant dripping of water will wear away steel. The events of o

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Surviving Critical Times

(Heb 10:22-25 NIV) let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. {23} Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. {24} And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. {25} Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

These verses focus on some vital issues for Christians who live in critical days. A person’s faith is not affected usually by a single catastrophic event. It’s more like a grinding-away. A constant dripping of water will wear away steel. The events of our times wear away at those who do not exercise their faith daily.

The writer of Hebrews said there are some specific things we need to do as we that day approaching.

1. Draw Near

(Heb 10:22 NIV) let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

A. Literally, “Come near the High Priest over the house of the Lord.”

B. How? “With a true heart in full assurance of faith,” and with a clear conscience and clean body.

C. For many, worship has become a tired friendship.

D. (Psa 73:28 NIV) But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.

E. (James 4:8 NIV) Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

F. In critical times, we must draw near to the Lord.

2. Hold Fast

(Heb 10:23 NIV) Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

A. “Hold Fast” implies that we are to keep our hope and faith ever in our memory and ever within our grasp.

B. What you believe is important.

C. Your faith will be tested: (Eph 6:16 NIV) In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

D. Doubts and discouragement come when we put down the shield of faith.

E. Sooner or later you have to determine what you believe and hang on for dear life.

3. Consider One Another

(Heb 10:24 NIV) And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.

A. Consider literally means “to pay attention to one another.” The temptation is to seize it now!

B. We need each other. (Rom 14:7 NIV) For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. (2 Cor 1:4 NIV) who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

C. The Apostle Paul used the term “one another” regularly in his writings; e.g., Romans 12:10; 15:14; Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13, 16).

D. Surviving critical times means we pay attention to one another.

4. Don’t Get Out The Habit Of Going To Church

A. (Heb 10:25 NIV) Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

(Heb 10:25 CEV) Some people have gotten out of the habit of meeting for worship, but we must not do that. We should keep on encouraging each other, especially since you know that the day of the Lord’s coming is getting closer.

B. The importance of corporate worship cannot be overemphasized.

C. (2 Th 2:1-2 NIV) Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, {2} not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come.

D. “Encouraging one another” (vs. 25) relates to corporate worship and indicates that there is encouragement in assembling together.

E. Encourage one another daily. (Heb 3:13 NIV) But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

Conclusion

How do you survive critical times?

1. Draw near the High Priest.

2. Hold fast to your hope & faith.

3. Pay attention to one another.

4. Don’t get out of the habit of going to church.

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