Summary: Now if we want a faith that shines, I believe we need to look at the faith of the people the writer names in the closing chapter.
The rest; a faith that shines
Hebrews 11:32-40 03/19/06
Each year or more than once a year, there will be a magazine that usually will list the top 100 people in the world. As we conclude our study of Hebrews 11, I believe we could not conclude it in any greater fashion. We come to a list of Bible heroes who, may not make TIME Magazine lists, but made the Hall of Faith list. These are people who ought to serve as our mentors, idols and heroes from a spiritual standpoint. The examples given in Hebrews 11 were taken from the first 6 books of the Old Testament. There were many other examples, which could have been used, but the writer states in verse 32 that “time would fail” him to speak of all the examples of faith. Now, he gives the specific names of 6 men and recounts the lives of other unnamed men in the following verses to describe for us the type of faith that shines.
Now if we want a faith that shines, I believe we need to look at the faith of the people the writer names in the closing chapter.
I want you to see first of all a faith that shines is A FAITH THAT ENDURES DARK TIMES. One of the first, most impressive things about the lives of faith discussed is how their faith shined in the midst of enduring dark times. From a historical standpoint we learn that: A. It was a Time of Moral Decay! There were murders, idolatries, drunkenness, reveling, as well as the practice of pagan rituals. It was a time where the old adage would have held true, "If it feels good, do it."
It was not only a time of moral decay but also B. It was a time of spiritual declension. It was a time when many had pushed any spiritual persuasion aside to go after their dream. They wanted what they wanted and did not mind violating spiritual laws to get it. Man had placed God in the background of life determined to go his own way, and do his own thing. Now people if that isn’t the picture of America today, then I am not reading the day in which we live correct. It is a time just like we read in the closing verse of Judges and it reads every man did that which was right in his own eyes. There is a way that seems right unto man but the end is destruction. God made man perfect; but, the creature has pushed aside the Creator, and has sought his own way of doing things. Thus, like the times of the judges, we are people of faith living in a day of moral decay and spiritual declension.
Now folks, a great responsibility rest upon the shoulders of the people of faith. We may be the only "salt" in our home, factory, office or school. We may be the only "light" in our depressing and dark personal world. If an eternal change is going to be made, it will not be made by the White House, it can only be made by God’s House.
I want you to see that a faith that shines is not only a faith that endures dark times but also that shines is A FAITH THAT ESCAPED DIFFICULT TROUBLES. In verses 32-38 the writer explores the lives of some of the greatest people of faith who ever lived. Time would not permit us to examine every one of their lives, but we are able to look into a few.