The promises God has made are promises that He committed to Himself to keep. We can live as Abraham did, knowing that the Lord commanded a blessing and will not fail to keep His Word. (Hebrews 6:9-16)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller, Pastor Steve Scibelli
Sermon # 11270
6:30 PM on 5/28/2017
P. Juha gave a great message on having my heart fixed. Peter said let’s go and die with him but didn’t do it because his heart was not fixed. Under construction. I’m not the finished product yet. God is still working on me. That was a great message. This morning was a lot of fun to preach that message. Big people get to do that! We get to share Christ with each other. Yesterday the picnics and parties people had, we so much appreciated it. We went from place to place eating. Sorry can’t eat anymore and of course we did through the whole day!
You cannot understand Heb 6 without understanding something about Abraham’s life.
Ge 12 and the promises. The story of Abraham through chapter 22 are about a man who did very little but one thing he did do was believe God. He was a man that left home and had promise. These chapters are filled with God making promises to Abraham. For many years you don’t see them realized. From the time he went home to when he got a son was about 25 years. Even after he had a son he did not have a great nation but was promised one.
Ge 12:3 if you go back a chapter or two, we have 70 families, different tribes and nations and languages. From there are the branches that go on and on and to the point of today. Today we have about 7,000 languages in the world and all of these are nations. All the nations of the earth will be blessed. What a promise to a man who has nothing. He has no land, no family. His nephew Lot but God is with Abraham.
vs. 7. Land. It’s what everyone wants. You want to own a piece of land, real estate. It’s nice if it’s possible. In the ancient world, it was the measure of who you were. What land do you have? Where is your territory? What is the extent of your influence? Abraham walked in the land.
vs. 17. How far did he walk? Israel today is about 200 miles wide and 70 miles long. Maybe the territory he walked in was bigger but at least the size of Israel today.
vs. 18. He was promised to have a great nation. He is given land he doesn’t possess, and promised a son he doesn’t have.
It says in Heb 11 he looked for a land whose builder and maker is God.
He looked for a city in Heb 11. He believed there would be a place on the earth where it would be a better place than any other place. He had the idea of a utopia. So do many young people today. We can’t find it without looking unto God. Abraham looked unto God and God gave him many words.
Ge 17:2, 7. The son is promised in Ge 18:10, 12. Abraham was 99 and Sarah was 90. When his son was born, he was 100 years old. What you see in this sequence is Abraham simply having it, – even in unbelief he somehow landed there in that place of I’m believing God.
Ge 22:2 his son is now estimated to be 16 years old. Abraham rose up early in the morning and so on. He went out with his son to sacrifice him. Your only son, the one you love. That’s such an incredible story.
Ge 22:15-16 by myself I have sworn. That’s the key to the Heb 6 verse. You can tell the truth but if in a court room, it used to be, you put your right hand on the Bible and swear with your hand on the Bible. God made promise to Abraham and in the way he is saying the same thing. I could not put my hand on the Bible but I swear by myself. There is no one greater than me. This promise is regarding Abraham becoming the father of a great nation and all the families of the earth being blessed through Abraham. There are Irish and Russian and Chinese and maybe aborigine and North American Indians and all the nations of the earth blessed through Abraham. It’s amazing. This is Abraham offering his son.
vs. 16-17. How many are in heaven what we read in Revelation. It says a number that no man can number. We can number everything pretty much. We have a number for how much water in the ocean. We have numbers with 21 zeroes after it. People in heaven is a number that no man can number. Abraham is going to end up blessed and this is through J.C. the seed of Abraham. It says out of every nation and kindred and tongue. There are Indians in the Amazon and through the 20th century a tribe was dying off on a regular basis. 121,000 people at the time of the reading and a few hundred people left. When they are dead and gone, their language dies. That tribe had their own language. God, would there be someone from that tribe in heaven? The Bible is saying out of every nation, tongue and kindred there are people in heaven. That gives us great hope. How do they get saved? By the testimony of Abraham. Who told Abraham about God? We have no record. There is no record how Abraham found out about God. It just says God spoke to him and he obeyed. He left home. He was called. I don’t understand how world evangelism operates. In a way I am in it and love the thought about it. I know it’s the most important thing happening in history. I know it’s very real and people are people made in the image of God. People have questions about where I am going and where did I come from. Everyone has a measure of reason and sense of humor. Everyone loves their mom or dog or a chipmunk or something. God is calling people and you can’t get to the living God and know God without knowing something about the God who called Abraham.
Abraham believed and it was imputed to him for R in Ge 15:6. God imputed it to him and made him R that fast without any works. He was the first Jew. There wasn’t any law. He built altars because he was meeting God but didn’t know that much about what he was doing. He got land by promise and got a son by promise and lived by faith. God made the promises, many of them at different times in his life and Abraham was following that. Many of you don’t know much about your faith but you are following God. God is taking care of you and helping you in your life. God is faithful to you in answering. Sometimes you got to give up your son or the thing most precious to you. God says give it to me. Without faith it’s impossible to please him. That faith is precious. Give it up. It’s hard. I’ve done it and then held back. A little bit of unbelief. Let me take care of this Lord. This is mine! This is my teddy bear here. It’s mine! This is what Abraham did. If you could give it up in your heart and trust him with all your heart, this is that amazing life that happens in you. This Holy Spirit work, this freedom. Who is the book of Hebrews written to? The Hebrews! Brilliant. No one had the courage to give that answer. It was written to Jews in Jerusalem. What does he want to say? Remember Abraham and how he followed God decade after decade. I expect you to do the same. Remember Abraham when it wasn’t clear to him how this whole thing would work out. Abraham couldn’t figure it out but just believing God. You do the same. That’s what he is saying to the Jewish people in the first century. They had doubts about Jesus. They were sliding back into their religious program. They were saying something like I believe in Jesus but there is a lot of persecution going on so I’m going to draw back and just be a good Jew. Writer is saying no. You keep going the way Abraham did. You believe the promises and live that way.
Heb 6:9, you cannot lose your salvation by the way. We kind of went over that. Even though it says once partaker of the H.S., been enlightened, experienced the powers of the world to come, and found the reality and draw back, it is impossible to renew again to repentance. It’s a warning. I know I can go away and be brought back. It’s happened. We see it all the time. No, you crossed the line. You’re lost. You go to hell. There is no salvation for you. That contradicts the heart of God, the mind of God, the restoration, the mercy of God. We study it here all the time. That’s one of the brilliant things about our faith. God will not forsake us or leave us. Nothing can separate us from his love. Even me goofing up or betraying or denying. Yes there is a loss. There is something I would lose by denying my faith but if we deny him he still abides faithful.
We read that in 2 Tim 2:13. Heb 6:9, he calls them beloved. That means they are believers. We are persuaded that you will keep going on as Abraham did. The things that accompany salvation. What does? Sanctification, a warm heart, new life, transformed mind, H.S. filling. What accompanies salvation? Body life, prayer life, continuing. You’re able to give up your son to God and you’re going to raise him from the dead. I will plunge the knife into his chest and offer my son but you will raise him from the dead. You gave me my son and you are not a sadistic God that would give and have pleasure in taking him away. I will offer him up and you will raise him up.
Heb 11, Rom 4. Have you ever had that in your own life? God said give me your children, job, girlfriend, wife? Ok. This is you. Let’s park on the girlfriend for a second. No, she’s mine. You possess your girlfriend. What about crucifixion, death, give her to me. Trust me. How about this one? The relationship goes through a crisis, there is a cross, you give her up and you say if it is of God, he can raise it from the dead. If my girlfriend is intended to be my wife I can believe God will give her to me as my wife but it might go through the cross as we learn to trust God in areas of life. Do it as a practice. Give the Lord your future, your little things, your house, family. Say Lord this is your business. I’m a steward not a possessor. If it is of you, you can give it back to me. If I get it back it can be bigger than it ever was because I don’t have to possess it. God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love. Maybe opening your home in a spirit of hospitality to brothers and sisters or sending money abroad. Maybe coming here to the church and helping us out. We have at least 150 volunteers in the church. Nick and Zane are doing the song leading and the offering tonight. People teaching the young children in the Sunday school. God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love. Going to camp life, dedicating time. They have a great time. God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love. How about our play and the Bible college play and the Bible college classes and security. God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love.
Pirjo was telling me when they went to Michigan they went to an old people’s home with some Finnish people and these older folks lit up as they spoke the Finnish language. God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love that we have shown toward his name in vs. 10.
I can’t compare but I’m amazed with our church bringing meals to people and knocking on doors. Dr. Lewis who worked in the ministry for decades, decades of service with Dr. Stevens and Cathy passed and went on to be with the Lord a few days ago. Keep him in your prayers. To realize this woman being very committed and dedicated to Christ through those years. Think about that and appreciate it.
God is not unrighteous to forget our work and labor of love in vs. 10-11. Get the juices going inside your heart, the spiritual life. We all fall on hard times or difficult days. We get upset or troubled about something. Don’t live in that too long. Seek God. I woke up about 3 in the morning. I went down to look for something to eat. I walk around the house and go back to the refrigerator! Then I got down on my knees by faith and said Lord you love faith. I’m lifting my hands by faith to you. You hear me and I’m waiting on you. Do something new, precious, and beautiful. Please fill me with your Spirit. About an hour later I went back to bed and then woke up and went on. I feel like God answered my prayer. I got fresh juice going on. I have something happening in my heart. You heard it this morning. I’m encouraged, renewed, refreshed, and built up. How do you live your life? By faith. It’s not about us or our stuff or our disciplines and behaviors. It’s all tiring sooner or later. More phone calls and text messages and emails. Could I please lose my telephone! It goes on and on. It’s precious every part of it.
vs. 11. Abraham got the promise and carried that. He’s meditating and what is going on in Abraham? He has something going on in his heart. Ten years, 25, 30 years later it’s still going on.
vs. 12. Slothful is lazy. That you wouldn’t be lazy in your listening. Heb 5 is the same word.
Dull of hearers in vs. 11. Lazy in your attitude of what you are a part of. Indifferent about what God has called us into. Not slothful or lazy regarding your approach to God. We can get a lot from God, be refreshed in God. That stubborn thing that God can change. You would not be lazy following these great precious promises. Be a follower of it.
vs. 12. Bob Colban and Chris. I remember through the years him working and raising his family thinking someday he would go to the mission field. Making their way in faith and patience and God opened the door and they are in France. How did it go? What was cooking in your heart all these years? Why did you do it and what was the result of it? How do you feel about it? It’s the same way about Abraham through these decades. He can say I am following through faith and patience. Abraham, you don’t have a son. It’s ok. It’s going to be. That’s what I have.
vs. 13. God swore by no higher than himself. The father and son said we are going to do this. There are 30 million [?] Jews in the world today. And second largest is in N.Y. City. Aren’t they an interesting race of people? God’s hand is on this nation to make a testimony that I swore and it will be as I said. Through Abraham, he would have Isaac and through Isaac there would be Christ and this is what we are preaching today.
vs. 14. I’ve never met people more like us than Jewish people. In Israel, I feel they are like us. They think like we do. We are related. Their sense of humor, the way they take life, the way they digest it. I enjoy it. God said if I bless, I bless. If I multiply, I multiply. It will be the way I say, and it will happen the way I do it. Why wouldn’t we follow faithful Abraham in the same kind of faith? Let’s believe God. One Russian czar called a Christian before him and said why should I believe in God? The Jews. I believe that. He brought them out of Egypt through the Red Sea. Here we have the history of the Jewish people and the law and prophets and covenants. Christ came through the Jewish people. If you want to find it out, you can.
vs. 15-16. Here is two men arguing over a piece of land or some legal issue. A guy comes running in and says I have the document. I have the document. The land belongs to him. No, it belongs to me. No, I have the document and that’s the end of the strife. It’s over. You can’t argue anymore because I have the higher authority. The highest authority on the earth that has sent Christ into this world and the Judaism you once followed has been replaced by something higher. The reality is foreshadowed by the Judaism you have followed. A higher priest, Christ after the order of Melchizedek has entered into heaven on our behalf. No more arguing. He has risen and entered into the holy of holies and we have been made R by the work of Christ, by the grace of God.
vs. 16-20. It means Abraham had a son and had land that God has promised. We have a high priest who has entered into the holy of holies and he is a guarantee. He has given us promise. This has put us to rest. No more anxiety or worry but the guarantee. We have now access into the holy of holies ourselves. We will go into that later in the book.
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