Forgetting or Remembering, Pt. 3

Hebrews 10:37-11:1 • Jeff Crotts •

There are four standard testimonies that I regularly hear.

See if they sound familiar.

  • “I was raised to believe in Jesus, so I never knew any different.”
  • “I was going the wrong way and I had a dramatic conversion.”
  • “I was just reading a Bible that I pulled off my shelf and believed.”
  • “In my final hour and I am going to now finally believe.”

Usually, someone’s conversion includes:

  • A significant influence
  • A particular sermon
  • A crisis of health, near-death experience, or life-altering moment
  • Coming clear, “I think I was, or thought I was a believer, but truly committed my life to Christ when I was…older

Whatever your testimony, know yoursNever be far from your testimony.

  • Your testimony (“story”) is the most evangelistic tool you have.
  • The most encouraging information you can tell someone.

Share your testimonies around the dinner table.

Testimonies do not end but begin at regeneration.  Your testimony is sanctification and glorification.  Growing to the end.

Remembering your testimony keeps you from slipping from God!

  • Good “snow tires” on AK 1.
  • Verse 39.

ESV  Hebrews 10:39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.

The pivot point in this section comes at the beginning of verse 32.

  • “But recall” (v. 32) translated, “remember.”
    • “Remembering” diverts drifting from God!
    • “Forgetting” drives toward apostasy (verses 26-31).
      •  “Forgetting is drifting”

“Remembering is persevering” (verses 32-39)

Part 1 (October 13)

1.Forgetting – What forgetting looks like (vv. 26-31)

          a. Willfully sinning (v. 26)

          b. Wallowing in self-pity (v. 27)

          c. Blaspheming the Cross (vv. 28-29)

          d. Ignoring God’s recompense (vv. 30-31)

 

Running toward Wrath is Forgetting God.  His wrath!

Running toward Grace is Remembering.  His grace!

Part 2  (October 20)

2.Remembering – What remembering looks like (vv. 32-39)

          a. Remember your conversion (v. 32a)

Remembering is a spiritual discipline.

ESV  2 Peter 1:-13 Simeon1 Peter, a servant2 and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained aa faith of equal standing with ours bby the righteousness of our cGod and Savior Jesus Christ:2 aMay grace and peace be multiplied to you bin the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him awho called us to1 his own glory and excellence,24 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become apartakers of the divine nature, bhaving escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith awith virtue,1 and virtue bwith knowledge,6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control awith steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness,7 and godliness awith brotherly affection, and brotherly affection bwith love.8 For if these qualities1 are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or aunfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he ais blind, having forgotten that he was bcleansed from his former sins.10 Therefore, brothers,1 be all the more diligent to make your calling and aelection sure, for if you practice these qualities byou will never fall.11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you aan entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.12 Therefore I intend aalways to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in bthe truth that you have.13 I think it right, as long as I am in this abody,1 bto stir you up by way of reminder

 

ESV  1 Corinthians 11:24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, "This is my body which is for1 you. Do this in remembrance of me."2

 

  • “Remind” and “remember” and “remembrance” is all from the same original word used in Hebrews 10, “recall” (v. 32).

 

  • Self-examination is the regular part of a believer’s life.

 

ESV  2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. aTest yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that bJesus Christ is in you?--unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

 

  • This was the whole point of the letter, 1 John.

 

ESV  1 John 5:13 I write athese things to you who bbelieve in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. (1Jo 5:13 ESV)

 

“But recall the former days” (v. 32).

 

  • “Remembering” is reconstructing the movie of your life.

 

There are times when I will recall - my conversion, my calling, the first time I witnessed, my first genuine Christian friendships.  Early Bible studies or the first time I preached are mountain peak memories marking how I have gotten to here from there.

 

Mountain peaks carry us through difficult suffering.

 

“The former days” (v. 32).

  • When you were not trying to have it both ways.
  • This is before you were, “sinning deliberately” (v. 26).
  • Instead, you were clear on the call to holiness.
  • Forsaking the world was the option.

Personally, I used to feel the guilt of by gone days when my early conversion joy was stronger.  Something that was hot had cooled inside.  This mindset underestimated the power of our flesh and the inward fight that had begun at conversion.  Then there is the whole matter of simply living in a fallen world where we undergo persecution.

          b. Remember your pain (v. 32b)

 

“You were enlightened, [thrust right into enduring]…a hard struggle with sufferings” (v. 32).

  • Oxymoronic to “remember” what on the surface seems negative.
    • Not “remembering the good old days.”
    • Not “remembering your health and wealth!”

This is remembering what is real in life.

  • Returning to seed.

“former days when, after you were enlightened” (v. 32).

  • When your lights first turned on!
  • When you first discovered the preciousness of Christ.
  • Tasting what is true and real in comparison to this world.

“Enlightened” or “illumined” when the Holy Spirit regenerated you.

ESV  2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who said, a"Let light shine out of darkness," bhas shone in our hearts to give cthe light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

ESV  Ephesians 1:18 ahaving the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is bthe hope to which he has called you, what are cthe riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,

“Enduring and hard struggling” go hand in hand.

  • “Enduring” [hupomevw] meaning “bearing up under.”

Concept picked up in verse 36.  “For you have need of endurance.” (v. 36).

  • “Stick-to-it-tiveness” or “steadfastness!”

“struggle” [athlnsiv] where we get the word, “athlete” (v. 32).

Athletes compete physically and mentally.  Winners face unforeseen adversity and keep going.  Pushing through unanticipated obstacles with a will that does not break.

Mindset framed by the Word.

Christians pair their minds with the Word.  Physical suffering and persecution come.  Still, your thinking is the ultimate battleground.  The Word is fuel for what is thrown at you.

Jesus predicted this:

ESV  John 15:18-20 a"If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.

19 aIf you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because byou are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

20 Remember the word that I said to you: a'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, bthey will also persecute you. cIf they kept my word, they will also keep yours.

 

Still etched watching my best friend (from jr. high) newly converted, high school senior, verbally challenged by his mother.  He quotes Christ words:

 

ESV  Matthew 10:34-36 ab"Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. bI have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 aFor I have come cto set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.36 aAnd a person's enemies will be those of his own household.

 

His parents at first hostile, because their son was consistent and gracious character and testimony grew less hostile.  They now open their home (the one he grew up going to every day after school) to his church and youth group!

 

          c. Remember your friends (vv. 33-34a)

 

Verse 33 further describes their suffering as “publically [being] exposed to reproach and affliction” (v. 33).

Who you associate with matters on several levels.

  • This association with this was their commitment to suffer with them.
    • “All for one and one for all.”
    • “Mess with him, you mess with me.”

 

  • Different than fighting like the world.
    • Christians fight for Truth.
    • Contend for the Faith.
    • Not to be right.
    • Not for personal gains.

 

  • Alignment with truth, standing for truth.
  • Their testimony.

Choosing these friends means you will be like those friends.

  • Not hiding from trouble.
  • Public exposure.

“Being partners” [koivwvoi] “fellowshipping” with them.

  • Not a casual connection, an abiding association.

ESV  1 Corinthians 15:33 aDo not be deceived: b"Bad company ruins good morals."1 (1Co 15:33 ESV)

Illustrating Scripture with Scripture is the best way to document authentic Christian friendship!

Acts is the historical testimony of these dangerous associations.

  • Ananias put himself at risk by making a friendship with newly converted Saul.
  • He had what Tim Challes called an “um…God?” moment as he struggled to commit!

ESV  Acts 9:10-18 Now there was a disciple at Damascus named aAnanias. The Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias." And he said, b"Here I am, Lord." 11 And the Lord said to him, "Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man aof Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying,12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and alay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight."13 But Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, ahow much evil he has done to byour csaints at Jerusalem.14 And here he has authority from athe chief priests to bind all who bcall on your name."15 But the Lord said to him, "Go, for ahe is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name bbefore the Gentiles and ckings and the children of Israel.16 For aI will show him how much bhe must suffer cfor the sake of my name."17 So aAnanias departed and entered the house. And blaying his hands on him he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and cbe filled with the Holy Spirit."18 And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and ahe regained his sight. Then bhe rose and was baptized;

 

Paul made his defense before King Agrippa (Herod for Rome).

Testifying to the fact that being a Christian is dangerous.

 

ESV  Acts 26:19-28 "Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to athe heavenly vision, 20 but declared first ato those in Damascus, bthen in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also cto the Gentiles, that they should drepent and eturn to God, performing deeds fin keeping with their repentance.21 For this reason athe Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me.22 aTo this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so bI stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what cthe prophets and Moses said would come to pass:23 athat the Christ bmust suffer and that, cby being the first dto rise from the dead, ehe would proclaim flight both to our people and to the Gentiles."24 And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, "Paul, ayou are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind."25 But Paul said, "I am not out of my mind, amost excellent Festus, but I am speaking btrue and crational words.26 For athe king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this has not been done in a corner.27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe."28 And Agrippa said to Paul, "In a short time would you persuade me to be aa Christian?"1

 

Remember in Acts 17 when Paul evangelized Thessalonica (2nd MJ).

 

ESV  Acts 17:1-9 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to aThessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews.2 And Paul went in, aas was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them bfrom the Scriptures,3 aexplaining and proving that it was necessary for bthe Christ to suffer and cto rise from the dead, and saying, "This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ."4 And asome of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did ba great many of the devout cGreeks and not a few of the leading women.5 aBut the Jews bwere jealous, and taking csome wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd.6 And when they could not find them, athey dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, "These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also,7 and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against athe decrees of Caesar, saying that there is banother king, Jesus."8 And the people and the city authorities were disturbed when they heard these things.9 And when they had taken money as security from Jason and the rest, they let them go.

 

  • Acts 17:9 connects with “plundering” or being taken advantage of in the early church.

 

Paul under house arrest in Rome.

During his 3rd Missionary journey, he was right in the center of God’s will.

“Friends” could come and go as they pleased!

 

  • Hebrews 10:34, commends the “compassion on those in prison” (v. 34).
    • “Compassion” [suvepathew] where we get the word, “sympathy.”
    • No judgment but pure sympathy.

 

  • Colossians 4 models the power of Christian friendship!

 

ESV  Colossians 4:1-6 Masters, treat your slaves1 justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.2 aContinue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it bwith thanksgiving.3 At the same time, pray also for us, that God may aopen to us a door for the word, bto declare the mystery of Christ, con account of which I am in prison--4 that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.5 aWalk in wisdom toward boutsiders, making the best use of the time.6 Let your speech always abe gracious, bseasoned with salt, cso that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

 

Paul’s chief concern was to get the Word of God out through clear speech!

 

  • Paul viewed his “Word” ministry happening from prison.
  • What he describes in Philippians.

 

ESV  Philippians 1:12-13 I want you to know, brothers,1 that what has happened to me has really aserved to advance the gospel, 13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard1 and ato all the rest that bmy imprisonment is for Christ.

 

  • Some of the “Imperial Guard” believed.
  • Unlikely sending missionary post and agency.

 

ESV  Philippians 4:22 aAll the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar's household.

 

  • “Leadership is verbal” through the Word!
  • Comradery formed among friends committed to this mission.
  • “Partners [Koivwnia] with those so treated” (v. 33)

 

ESV  Colossians 4:7-18 Tychicus will tell you aall about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant1 in the Lord.8 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts,9 and with him aOnesimus, our faithful and bbeloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.10 aAristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark bthe cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions--cif he comes to you, welcome him),11 and Jesus who is called aJustus. bThese are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and cthey have been a comfort to me.12 aEpaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always bstruggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand cmature and fully assured in all the will of God.13 For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis.14 aLuke the beloved physician greets you, as does bDemas.15 Give my greetings to the brothers1 at Laodicea, and to Nympha and athe church in her house.16 And when athis letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea.17 And say to aArchippus, "See that you fulfill bthe ministry that you have received in the Lord."18 I, Paul, awrite this greeting with my own hand. bRemember cmy chains. dGrace be with you.

 

House Arrest and its experience (Roman imprisonment) were based on your friends.

 

  • Paul faced two kinds of imprisonments.
    • The prison epistles (Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians) was under house arrest.
    • If you could afford it, leased your prison quarters.
    • On probation.
    • Chained to a Roman guard - limited food - clothing.

 

  • Friends were your refuge.
    • Able to come and go.
    • Supplying resources, food, and supplies.

 

  • Paul lists his friends.
    • Willing to risk reputation and safety.
    • Suffering a similar fate?

 

  • Paul had won Tychicus on the mission field.
    • Faithful currier across the Mediterranean to Laodicea.

 

  • Onesimus, the runaway slave.
    • Fled Philemon as an unbeliever.
    • Went to Rome, a needle in a haystack finds Paul under house arrest.
    • Paul leads Onesimus to Christ and is sending him back to Philemon.
    • Urging restoration to receive him as a brother!
    • Committing to pay Philemon for losses.

 

  • Aristarchus, covert and “fellow prisoner.”
    • Paul unashamedly is his friend.

 

  • Mark also, John Mark, who departed Paul and Barnabas (Mark’s uncle) on their first missionary journey.
    • John Mark, from a Christian home, his mom’s home, who hosted the prayer meeting where Peter fled when supernaturally sprung from prison, by an angel.

 

ESV  Acts 12:12 When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of aJohn whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and bwere praying.

 

 

  • John Mark being Barnabas’ nephew split fellowship with Paul for a time but proved himself faithful and was restored!

 

  • Jesus called Justus. Was a Jew.

 

  • Pastor Epaphras, “always struggling…in his prayers.”
    • For them to be “mature” – “fully assured in all the will of God” (v. 12).
    • This is all God’s will!

 

  • Luke the only Gentile (a Christian doctor) is also there!

 

  • Demas at this point affirmed as a believer.

 

  • Finally, Archippus who is the Colossian's interim pastor.

 

“How did these relationships play out?”

 

ESV  2 Timothy 4:7-22 aI have fought the good fight, bI have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

8 Henceforth there is alaid up for me bthe crown of righteousness, which the Lord, cthe righteous judge, will award to me on dthat Day, and not only to me but also to all ewho have loved his appearing.9 aDo your best to come to me soon.10 For aDemas, bin love with cthis present world, dhas deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia,1 eTitus to Dalmatia.11 aLuke alone is with me. Get cMark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry.12 aTychicus I have sent to Ephesus.

13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments.14 aAlexander the coppersmith did me great harm; bthe Lord will repay him according to his deeds.15 Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message.16 At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. aMay it not be charged against them!17 But athe Lord stood by me and bstrengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and call the Gentiles might hear it. So dI was rescued efrom the lion's mouth.18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. aTo him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

19 Greet aPrisca and Aquila, and bthe household of Onesiphorus.20 Erastus remained at Corinth, and I left aTrophimus, who was ill, at Miletus.21 aDo your best to come before winter. Eubulus sends greetings to you, as do Pudens and Linus and Claudia and all the brothers.122 The Lord be awith your spirit. bGrace be with you.1

 

Here Paul is facing Roman execution.

 

  • Different from house arrest.
    • Like solitary confinement.
    • Death row.
    • Prison is a dugout hole in the ground.
    • Dark and desolate.
    • Food handed down through a hole in the ceiling.

 

  • Relationships now means of survival.
    • Encouragement on a soulish level.
    • Paul recounts who stayed with him and who fled!

 

  • Many of the same
    • Demas departed (v. 10).
    • The good beginning does not guarantee a good end.

 

  • Titus and Luke are right there!

 

  • Paul specifically wants Mark with him.

 

“He is very useful to me for ministry” (v. 11).

 

  • Mark the Gospel writer!
  • The one fleeing without his cloak when Christ was captured at Gethsemane (Mk. 14:51-52).

 

ESV  Mark 14:51-52 And a young man followed him, with nothing but aa linen cloth about his body. And they seized him, 52 but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked.

 

  • Tychicus always good in the field.
    • Enemies also noted.
    • Not only deserters but attackers.

 

  • “Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds” (v. 14).
    • Why? “He strongly opposed our message” (v. 15).
    • Paul was gracious! “May it not be charged against them” (v. 16).

 

Part 3  (November 3)

          d. Remember your joy (v. 34b-37)

“Associations like these will come under attack.”

  • Enemies of Christ work to strip away Christian confidence.
  • To demoralize you.
    • The believer living in two worlds.
    • “Joy” when things are stripped from your life.
    • “Stuff” is no match for heaven.

 

  • Enemies “plundering” or stealing “property.”
    • This is “public exposure to reproach and affliction” (v. 33).

“How do you tap into “a better possession?”

  • The key is that this “better possession is abiding” (v. 34).
  • “Abiding” [menw] also translated “enduring.”
    • Stuff comes and goes.
    • God stays in your life!
    • Christians persevere because God perseveres!

 

  • “Abiding” means this joy inside does not go away.
  • You do not give up because God does not give up.
    • Always speaking to you heart.
    • You taste something of heaven now.

ESV  Romans 14:17 aFor the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but bof righteousness and cpeace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Rom 14:17 ESV)

Exhorted “not to throw away your confidence” (v. 35).

  • “Throw” [apoBalnte] is a word where you hear “ball” from [Ballw].
    • When someone leaves Christianity, it is a decision made up of smaller decisions.
    • The final action in the wake of a long drift!
    • ll appearances seem fine and then “poof” they leave.

 

  • On the verge of “throwing away your confidence [“boldness”]” (v. 35).
    • “Confidence” synonym for “faith.”
    • The theme of chapter 11! Hall of faith, men and women suffering in joy, looking future!

The word “endurance” [upomovn] comes up again.

  • “To bear up under.”
    • The marathon where you have to keep going! (cf. Heb. 12:1-2).
    • By faith, you persevere.

 

  • Enduring is literally what you “need” to keep doing! (v. 36)
    • Theme of vindication.
    • If you are a runner, then run.
    • If you are not a runner, then you will quit.
      • Not getting saved.
      • Proving you are saved.

ESV  Revelation 2:1-7 "To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: 'The words of ahim who holds the seven stars in his right hand, bwho walks among the seven golden lampstands.2 a"'I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but bhave tested those cwho call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false.3 I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up afor my name's sake, and you bhave not grown weary.4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned athe love you had at first.5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do athe works you did at first. If not, bI will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.6 Yet this you have: you hate the works of athe Nicolaitans, which I also hate.7 aHe who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. bTo the one who conquers I will grant to eat of cthe tree of life, which is in dthe paradise of God.'

 

This was to the church at Ephesus.  The Ephesians!

  • They were in danger, having lost their first love.
  • Their “need”? To “conquer” to “win” to “overcome!”

Overcoming is the call of every Christian!

ESV  James 1:1-12 aJames, a servant1 of God and bof the Lord Jesus Christ, To cthe twelve tribes in dthe Dispersion: Greetings.2 aCount it all joy, my brothers,1 when you meet trials bof various kinds,3 for you know that athe testing of your faith bproduces steadfastness.4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be aperfect and complete, lacking in nothing.5 aIf any of you lacks wisdom, blet him ask God, cwho gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.6 But alet him ask in faith, bwith no doubting, for the one who doubts is like ca wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;8 ahe is a double-minded man, bunstable in all his ways.9 Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation,10 and athe rich in his humiliation, because blike a flower of the grass1 he will pass away.11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and awithers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.12 aBlessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive bthe crown of life, cwhich God has promised to those who love him.

 

Persevering and eternal heaven go hand in hand.

 

Remember your conversion – Remember your pain – Remember your friends – Remember your joy -

          e. Remember your Gospel (vv. 38-39)

Verses 38-39 tie the Bible together!

  • Two verses quote two different sections of the Old Testament, regarding the same circumstance and exhortation!

 

  • Two different prophets making the same
    • One major, one minor!
    • Isaiah and Habakkuk
    • Equal in office – major/minor in terms of book size!

 

  • First quoting from Isaiah 26:20: “Yet a little while” (v. 37a)

 

  • Isaiah 24-27 calls a “Little Apocalypse” primarily targeting “end times.”
    • “The Great Tribulation”
    • “Jacob’s Trouble”

 

  • At the same time, Isaiah 26:20 refers to the coming judgment specifically for Judah (the southern kingdom).

 

  • Judah had turned from God to idols, sealing their fate to be swept into Babylonian Captivity.

 

  • This warning is given mid-700’s (750 B.C.).
    • In the wake of the earlier warnings to Israel (the northern kingdom - 722 B.C.).
    • The Assyrians took Israel captive for like-idolatry.

 

  • Second quoting from Habakkuk 2:3-4: “and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him” (vv. 37-38).

 

  • One hundred years later, Habakkuk follows on to warn Judah.

 

  • Now three decades? Right before the southern kingdom will be captured by Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel).

 

  • The Assyrians and now the Babylonians (both pagan and wicked) as judgment for God’s purposes! Divine sovereignty through Pagans!

 

Applying this to the Hebrews and the Christian life is as simple as this!

  • Hebrews quotes Habakkuk 2 (LXX) with a messianic rendering – applying Habakkuk’s vision to our future!

 

  • Christians have to hang on (persevere) – like the Israelites!

 

  • Life’s hard struggle might be more than we can understand (i.e. Assyrian and Babylonian captivity – “whatever you are going through).

 

  • Nevertheless, we understand the Gospel!

 

  • Jesus is on our side! For “a little while” longer we can hang on!

 

  • Jesus is coming back! We persevere for his glory!

 

“How do you keep going?”

  • Christianity is defined as, “my righteous one[s]” are people defined by “faith” (v. 38).
    • Always has been this way!
    • Came alive by “faith” (cf. Rom. 1:17).
    • “Shall live by faith.”
    • Real “faith” keeps running!

 

  • The warning at the end of verse 38 is true!
    • “and if he shrinks back” [“draws back”].
      • When life is this difficult the potential to quit is real.
      • Dangerous!

 

  • God’s “soul” - his essence, “has no pleasure in him” (v. 38).

 

  • God literally pulls back when there is hypocrisy.

 

Verse 39 offers hope.  This entire chapter ends on HOPE!

“But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed” (v. 39).

  • Not headed to Hell.
  • Have nothing to worry about!

If you are concerned for your soul, you are not shrinking back!

  • Not destined for “destruction!”
  • The opposite is true of you.

“…but of those who have faith and preserve their souls” (v. 39).

“Remembering” -- “preserves” you!  Keeps you on the track of sanctification – to glorification!

 

Conclusion:

Next week beginning Hebrews 11.  Heroes of the faith.

However, we must first define faith and then verse 3!

We will open up the matter of Creation Versus Evolution.

It takes saving faith to believe in literal Creation!

Your belief or disbelief in Creation shapes everything you understand about your existence!

 

 

 

 

Hebrews 10:37-11:1 • Jeff Crotts •

    d. Remember your joy (v. 34b-37)

“Associations like these will come under attack.”

  • Enemies of Christ work to strip away Christian confidence.
  • To demoralize you.
    • The believer living in two worlds.
    • “Joy” when things are stripped from your life.
    • “Stuff” is no match for heaven.

 

  • Enemies “plundering” or stealing “property.”
    • This is “public exposure to reproach and affliction” (v. 33).

“How do you tap into “a better possession?”

  • The key is that this “better possession is abiding” (v. 34).
  • “Abiding” [menw] also translated “enduring.”
    • Stuff comes and goes.
    • God stays in your life!
    • Christians persevere because God perseveres!

 

  • “Abiding” means this joy inside does not go away.
  • You do not give up because God does not give up.
    • Always speaking to you heart.
    • You taste something of heaven now.

ESV  Romans 14:17 aFor the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but bof righteousness and cpeace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Exhorted “not to throw away your confidence” (v. 35).

  • “Throw” [apoBalnte] is a word where you hear “ball” from [Ballw].
    • When someone leaves Christianity, it is a decision made up of smaller decisions.
    • The final action in the wake of a long drift!
    • ll appearances seem fine and then “poof” they leave.

 

  • On the verge of “throwing away your confidence [“boldness”]” (v. 35).
    • “Confidence” synonym for “faith.”
    • Theme of chapter 11! Hall of faith, men and women suffering in joy, looking future!

The word “endurance” [upomovn] comes up again.

  • “To bear up under.”
    • The marathon where you have to keep going! (cf. Heb. 12:1-2).
    • By faith, you persevere.

 

  • Enduring is literally what you “need” to keep doing! (v. 36)
    • Theme of vindication.
    • If you are a runner, then run.
    • If you are not a runner, then you are going to quit.
      • Not getting saved.
      • Proving you are saved.

ESV  Revelation 2:1-7 "To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: 'The words of ahim who holds the seven stars in his right hand, bwho walks among the seven golden lampstands.2 a"'I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but bhave tested those cwho call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false.3 I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up afor my name's sake, and you bhave not grown weary.4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned athe love you had at first.5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do athe works you did at first. If not, bI will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.6 Yet this you have: you hate the works of athe Nicolaitans, which I also hate.7 aHe who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. bTo the one who conquers I will grant to eat of cthe tree of life, which is in dthe paradise of God.'

 

This was to the church at Ephesus.  The Ephesians!

  • They were in danger, having lost their first love.
  • Their “need”? To “conquer” to “win” to “overcome!”

Overcoming is the call of every Christian!

ESV  James 1:1-12 aJames, a servant1 of God and bof the Lord Jesus Christ, To cthe twelve tribes in dthe Dispersion: Greetings.2 aCount it all joy, my brothers,1 when you meet trials bof various kinds,3 for you know that athe testing of your faith bproduces steadfastness.4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be aperfect and complete, lacking in nothing.5 aIf any of you lacks wisdom, blet him ask God, cwho gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.6 But alet him ask in faith, bwith no doubting, for the one who doubts is like ca wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;8 ahe is a double-minded man, bunstable in all his ways.9 Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation,10 and athe rich in his humiliation, because blike a flower of the grass1 he will pass away.11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and awithers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.12 aBlessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive bthe crown of life, cwhich God has promised to those who love him.

 

Persevering and eternal heaven go hand in hand.

          e. Remember your Gospel (vv. 38-39)

Verses 38-39 tie the Bible together!

  • Two verses quote two different sections of the Old Testament, regarding two different warnings!
  • They tie together two different prophets making the same application.
    • One major, one minor!
    • Isaiah and Habakkuk
    • Both equal in office – major/minor in terms of book size!

 

  • Isaiah in 740 B.C. warns Israel, the northern kingdom, that the Assyrians were going to judge and take them captive for their idolatry.

 

  • Around one hundred years later, Habakkuk warns the Judah, the southern kingdom that they would have the same fate by the Babylonians (Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel).

 

  • God used the Assyrians and now the Babylonians, both wicked nations to judge for His purposes! Divine sovereignty through Pagans!

 

  • Applying this to Hebrews and to our Christian lives is as simple as this!

 

  • God’s purposes in life’s hard struggle might be harder than we can understand, nevertheless we can understand the Gospel!
  • Jesus is on our side!

 

  • He will come back and He is our present rescue today.

 

  • Christianity is that “my righteous one[s]” are people defined by “faith.”
    • Came alive by “faith” (cf. Rom. 1:17).
    • “Shall live by faith.”
    • Real “faith” keeps running!

 

  • The warning at the end of verse 38 is true!
    • God’s “soul” - his essence, “has no pleasure in him” (v. 38).
    • God pulls back from hypocrisy.

Verse 39 offers hope.  This entire chapter ends on HOPE!

“But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed” (v. 39).

  • Not headed to Hell.
  • Have nothing to worry about!

If you are concerned for your soul, you are not shrinking back!

  • Not destined for “destruction!”
  • The opposite is true of you.

“But of those who have faith and preserve their souls” (v. 39).

“Remembering” -- “preserves” you!  Keeps you on the track of sanctification – to glorification!

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