Summary: Sermon on faith preached in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
The Faith that Changes Everything - Hebrews 11:1-10
Sermon by: Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church, West Monroe, LA
Originally preached September 11, 2005
*Everyone has faith in something. As John Bisagno once said, “Faith is the heart of life. You go to a doctor whose name you can’t pronounce. He gives you a prescription you cannot read. You take it to a pharmacist you have never seen. He gives you medication you do not understand... And yet... You take it.” (1)
*Everybody has faith in something, but there is only one kind of faith that changes everything, and that is faith in Jesus Christ. This is the kind of faith the Word of God talks about in Hebrews 11. Faith in God changes everything.
1. First of all. it gives us a rock-solid foundation for our hopes, and we see this in verse 1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
*Faith is the substance of things hoped for. What are you hoping for today? I hope you haven’t given up on your hopes and dreams! Life would be terrible with no hope. There’s probably only one thing worse, and that’s a life based on false hope, but when we have faith in Jesus Christ, we have a rock-solid foundation for all of our hopes. When we have faith in Jesus Christ, we have something to build our hopes on.
*See, faith is not just positive thinking, or having a positive attitude. Faith is not “The Little Engine that Could” trying to get up that hill: “I think I can! I think I can!” Verse 1 tells us that faith is the substance of things hoped for. This means that our faith in Jesus Christ stands like a solid rock under our hopes and dreams. Our faith is something that we can rest on today, knowing that God will bring our God-given hopes to pass.
2. Faith changes everything! It gives a rock-solid foundation for our hopes, and it gives us a revelation of the unseen world. We see this in verses 1 and 3:
-“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
-Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”
*These vs. teach us that faith opens us up to a whole new dimension in life. Faith opens us up to the most important things in life, because the most important things cannot be seen with our eyes. This is true in the physical world. You can’t see air, but you can’t live without it. I’ve never seen my heart or my kidneys or my liver, but I sure am glad they are in here, doing their important work behind the scenes.
*The most important things in life cannot be seen with our eyes. That’s true of love and joy and peace in our hearts. And it is especially true of the things of God: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Heaven, angels. We cannot see these things right now, not with our physical eyes, anyway, but faith opens our spiritual eyes so that we can see. “Faith is the evidence of things not seen.”
*One of the best preachers of the 20th century was Peter Marshall. Years ago, they made a movie about his life, and Zig Ziglar tells about something special that happened while they were filming the movie. It was a scene where the actor playing Peter Marshall was preaching a sermon on belief and faith. When the scene was over the cameras kept rolling. Many actors in the pretend congregation got up to congratulate the actor for a great performance, and one of those cast members was Marjorie Rambeau.
*As she walked down the aisle, you could see that she was very emotional. The reason why is because Marjorie was walking, even thought she could not walk. Marjorie had been injured in a car wreck, and for over a year had been unable to take a step, but as she listened to those words of faith, God worked a miracle in her body.
*Marjorie got up and walked and kept on walking. Now a doubter would say that she was just caught up in the emotion of the moment, but faith opens our spiritual eyes to see the Hand of God at work, even through an actor preaching the truth. (2)
3. Faith changes everything! It gives us a revelation of the unseen world, and it gives us a good report. We see this in verses 2 and 4 and 7:
-“For by it the elders obtained a good report.
-By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaks.