Summary: After considering all the "hero’s" of faith from chapter eleven, the Hebrew writer asks us to do one more thing. Having walked through the "Hall of Fame of Faith," the writer wants us to think about these people as we ponder his next thought.
After considering all the "hero’s" of faith from chapter eleven, the Hebrew writer asks us to do one more thing. Having walked through the "Hall of Fame of Faith," the writer wants us to think about these people as we ponder his next thought.
Now it is no secret that I am a sports fan and most importantly a Tennessee Volunteer’s fan. I have no doubts that if the Hebrew writer were alive today he too would be a sports fan and if he is as intelligent as we believe him to be then he also would be a Volunteer fan.
At the beginning of this chapter we are introduced to some powerful athletic metaphor’s which the Christian life is compared to, the event of a race. If you are a Christian then, realize it or not, you are already in this race. The issue is not being in the race but rather how are we running?
I. Running Freely. (Hebrews 12:1)
A. The Chrisian must remove all hinderances. (1 Cor. 9:24)
B. The Christian must be free from the entanglement of sin.
C. ILLUSTRATION: One Saturday, a man went out to play his usual round of golf with his best friend Harry. His wife became concerned when he had not returned home by dinner time. Finally, about midnight he came through the door, exhausted. "Where have you been?" she demanded. "Playing golf" came the reply. "That was 18 hours ago. What happened?" The man explained, "I was having the best match of my life. I was two under par through the seventh when Harry had a heart attack and died." Still not understanding, his wife pressed for answers. The man continued, "After that it was hit the ball, drag Harry, hit the ball, drag Harry. . ."
II. Running Focused. (Hebrews 12:2)
A. The ever present focus in the life of a Christian is Jesus Christ.
B. Jesus is:
1. The author – one who goes first, pioneer.
2. The perfecter – one who finishes, completes.
III. Running to Finish. (Hebrews 12:3)
A. Focusing on Christ helps us avoid weariness and faintheartedness.
B. Spiritual training is as necessary as physical training. (1 Cor. 9:24—27)
By 7:00 PM on October 20:1968 darkness was beginning to come upon Olympic Stadium in Mexico City. The last of the marathon runners were being escorted to the first aid stations. Over one hour earlier the winner of the race had crossed the finish line of this 26+ mile race. As most of the spectators were leaving the stadium they heard police sirens and whistles coming through the entrance of the sadium. All at attention was focused on that gate when a lone figure appeared limping into the stadium. It was John Stephen Aquari, the marathoner from Tanzania. He was the last man to finish the race in 1968. His leg was bandaged and bloody from a serious fall early in the race. All he could do now was limp his way the last few steps of the race. The crowd stood and applauded as he completed the last lap. Having finally finished, one man dared to ask the question all were wanting to ask. "You are severely injured. Why didn’t you just quit?" John, with quiet dignity said, "My country did not send me seven thousand miles to start the race. My country sent me to finish."