I don't agree with a lot of what the Reformers, their opinions, but I understand the struggles of many of them. Some of them I flat out don't like, but Luther was a manly man.
You have to admire things about him, though there are things about him that were very troubling also. Anyway, the fear of trusting for nothing must be overcome by courage of trusting the truth. It takes courage to have faith. You've got to get that.
Things are going to go with or without us. This is Cross Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of Hebrews.
Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. Today, Pastor Rick will conclude his study called Don't Do It in Hebrews chapter 10. Ask anybody, what is your solution for sin? What is your solution for it? It has to be dealt with. It is the cause of every piece of suffering ever known to humanity.
Is there a solution for this? Is there one after this life and in this life? I have looked at everyone else's position that I, well, not everyone. I'm sure I've missed a few, but I've looked at Islam's solution, Buddhism's solution, Hinduism's, and I find them not reasonable, irrational.
I don't find a solution. They talk about it, but in the end, it goes against a sense of justice. When I look at Christianity and I see God saying, it's not justice you want because you can't handle my justice. You need grace.
You need mercy. You cannot earn it. You have to receive it.
Okay, I receive it, but how do I get it? God suffered for me. You see, I can say I didn't ask to be born. I didn't ask to step into this world and then have to deal with the judgment of God.
Yeah, but I'm here. And God says, well, let me help you with that a little bit. I'm going to ask to be born and step into this world and I'm going to take punishment for you that you deserve. And if you believe it and receive it based on all the little pieces of evidence I leave that lead to this trail, then I'm going to give you an everlasting glory that defies description. But you have to examine the evidence, make your move, and stick to it by faith.
That's what I want. We who believe, that's what we have done. What irritates us is when we hear blasphemy against Christ, we want to answer it. Sometimes the answer's not there. It's like, how do I answer that? Sometimes this is the answer. I don't need to answer that. That's nothing but a scrambled egg, a knot that no one can untie. It's not even the point. It's a distraction. It sounds so intelligent.
But actually, it's just simply wrong because sin still has to be dealt with. You go online and you watch some men deal with questions and you say, boy, that's pretty intelligent. I wish I had that intelligence. I wish I could give that answer. Jesus said, when they bring you in before the magistrates and they're going to put you under the pressure of giving them answers, don't think about what you're going to say. I'll bless you.
I'll give you the answers. My point in that is, trust the Lord that you know to be your Savior all the time as best you can with everything you have. So we read Hebrews 2-3, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? This is the first warning verse in Hebrews, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord and was committed to those who heard him.
That's the process that was cast into motion. Those who heard him. Well, we're still hearing Christ. Verse 30, oh, pause here. Don't let your weaknesses undo your strengths. Just because you struggle with this or that, you fail here or there, that doesn't define who you are. You know what defines the Christian?
Christ. Your strength. That's what decides who you are. Stick to that. Be defiant with that. Cop a little attitude with that against those things that come against it.
Otherwise you're going to get slapped around. And don't take any mess from yourself either. Yourself is one of the most busy guilt bearers there is. Hey, I got a bucket of guilt for you.
How do you feel about this? Shouldn't you have been doing that? How come you didn't sin?
We should have done better in school. We should have had more devotion time. Let the Spirit of the Lord be the Spirit of the Lord in your heart. In spite of your sin, he is able to overcome those things that you cannot. He does it in some ways that are very visible to us, and then he does it in ways that defy our understanding but not our faith. See, faith goes beyond understanding but not without it.
It uses understanding to get right there and then it blows past it. And I'll get to that, another illustration of that in a moment. Verse 30, for we know him who said, vengeance is mine. I will repay, says the Lord. And again, the Lord will judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Well, there's the payback. Vengeance is mine. God is not going to just ignore it.
You didn't mean it. He's going to be dealt with. This is for those who rejected him.
He's talking, that's the application. Galatians 6, again, Galatian dealing with, Paul dealing with the same thing that is being dealt with in Hebrews. I believe Paul is likely the writer of Hebrews. He says, do not be deceived.
God is not mocked for whatever a man sows that he will reap also. If you've ever watched any of the intelligent atheists who've devoted their lives to proving that something doesn't exist, which in itself is not intelligent. I mean, again, I use this, I'm not very creative, but I have not devoted my life to proving tooth fairies don't exist. If you believe them, that's fine. You're wrong.
And you better hope that the tooth fairy's not greedy, because you're going to take all your teeth. But anyway, so I think it's an irrational thing. If others don't believe it, fine. This age of atheism that we are facing is unlike atheism in the past. This atheism is militant.
It is aggressive. It is not satisfied with live and let live. It wants to stop you from believing what you believe, because it is hell driven. And when Paul says, don't be deceived, God is not mocked.
Oh, well, they mock him, yes, but they are sowing in their mocking, and they will reap what they have sown if they do not repent. And so we're facing serious issues when faced with God the Son, God's salvation, and the Holy Spirit, Luke's Gospel. There will be, Luke 13, 28, Jesus speaking, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. The gnashing of teeth, the weeping is the sorrow. The gnashing is the anger.
They're sorry that they're going to be judged, and they're angry for being judged at the same time. He says, when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom, and you yourselves thrust out. Do you think that only applies to the Jews, the Jewish Pharisees?
That applies to the human beings who mock God and go to their grave like that. I have people I love who have not accepted Christ. I still love them. I'm still trying to reach them. But I do not love them more than I love my Jesus.
I won't allow myself to do that. And so he said that in Luke's Gospel to humanly intelligent rejectors, verse 32. But recall the former days in which after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings. You see, they're Christians. They were persecuted for Christ, clearly addressing veteran believers. And he says, remember, we read that and we have to say, if it can happen to them, I'm not letting my God.
I'm going to post another guard. Scripture never makes room for other religions. It is Christ or it is nothing. That is the ultimatum. It is the prerogative of God.
He exercises it. In an age, we live in an age of fake tolerance. They like to throw that word around. We stand in defiance against it. We say God is intolerant of Christlessness at death.
That's it. In the Old Testament, it's illustrated for us. Samuel was intolerant of Agag, took out his sword, hacked him to death. Elijah was intolerant of the prophets of bow on Mount Carmel. Those prophets did not survive the day. Christ was vehemently intolerant of fake believers in his day. Beware the Pharisee. Beware the Sadducees and the scribes.
Beware, beware, beware. These were the religious people that were acting like believers yet rejecting the proof that was right in front of them according to their own scripture. We are not at all interested in doing physical violence to infidels, as you might want to use. We don't hear that word coming out of the church often, but it's a word that's for unbelievers. We're not looking to harm them physically, but their opinions.
We are not looking to merge with ours. You endured a great struggle with sufferings, he says. Their fight were neither minor nor were they brief.
Wherever that word endure shows up, that means there's time involved. Stephen was murdered, the first one in the church to be murdered for Christ. Paul, who hunted Christians, found himself hunted. Paul wreaked havoc on the church. Acts chapter 8, his name was first Saul. For Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house and dragging off men, women, committing them to prison. Acts 26, he's giving his testimony and I punish them often in every synagogue and compel them to blaspheme and being exceedingly enraged against them. I persecuted them even to foreign cities. You see why they were under pressure to go back to Judaism?
And the writer is saying, don't do it. Galatians 1, 3, for you have heard of my former conduct, Paul speaking again, in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it, end quote. And so when he says, you endured great struggle and suffering.
Don't make it for nothing. Verse 33, partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated. They were publicly humiliated.
That word for spectacle in the Greek is where we get our English word, theater, from. They were made laughing stock, entertainment, their persecution. They were hated. They were scowled at, harassed, threatened and harmed. And yet they were still thinking about leaving the faith. He says both by reproaches and tribulation.
They were held in contempt. And partly while you became companions, koinonia, in fellowship of those who were threatened. That's not a light word. He says, partly while you became koinonia, in fellowship. That's our word. We've embraced that word as Christians. Our fellowship is based on Acts 2, 42, for example, one verse that teaches it to us.
That word fellowship, again, koinonia in the Greek. These were bona fide believers. And public opinion intensified against them. And when they ran to the defense of other believers, they just drew fire to themselves, unwelcome fire.
Their families also were subject to persecution. Verse 34, for you had compassion on me and my chains and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and enduring possession for yourselves in heaven. Well, here's a support for the authorship of Paul. In chapter 13, Timothy will be said to have been released from prison. That indicates, that's a timestamp. That indicates that this was late into Paul's ministry, even if it wasn't Paul writing this, but I believe it was. Because you have to account for the time after the resurrection of Christ, the birth of the church, the time Paul gets saved after his persecution of the church, and then his finally getting Timothy one, and then getting Timothy developed to the point where he can actually be arrested for his faith and then released.
You have a lot of time there. This makes the Hebrew document late into the Jewish history in relation to the fall of the Jewish tabernacle, which I mentioned earlier. You can go to Herodian Street in Israel to this very day. You can go online and look at pictures of it if you'd like, and there are the stones right there.
Just type in temple ruins and you'll get it. And so he says, the joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods. They didn't cling to the possessions of their life. This is a wake-up call to us, that I can get it right ten years ago and become weak ten years later if I'm not careful. That ought to be a concern. And so the loss of safety and possessions, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, all being taken away, physical harm, with this persecution. Again, it's no wonder why some of them were thinking, you know what?
I can't take this anymore. Galatians 6 12, as many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these who compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. Paul was saying in Galatia, there were those that wanted to mingle the faith, half Jewish, half Christian, so that they could check the Jewish box and check the Messiah box in Christ at the same time, and their countrymen would no longer persecute them, but say, well, okay, they're one of us.
They're a little off, but they're one of us. And he's been telling them, don't do that. You know, there were little things such as circumcision, Paul said, I didn't give in, not for one hour, not for a moment did I give in to Peter or Barnabas or anybody else. That is a defiant attitude that we want. He says, knowing that you have a better and enduring possession for yourselves in heaven, that's faith. We have a destination to what we believe. All of this verse by verse stuff is going somewhere in us and through us because of the Holy Spirit. Verse 35, therefore, do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. That word confidence is the faith.
Cling to Christ. Galatians 3, 4 again, have you suffered so many things for nothing, if indeed for nothing? Most of our early memories as born again Christians involves delight, relief, joy. Theirs had delight and persecution and suffering. But being persecuted this teaches us that just because a Christian is persecuted is no guarantee that their doctrine is going to be sound.
It's alarming, is it not? Because here their doctrine was faltering. And we see this today, we see if a Christian has suffered persecution, he's given a pulpit or she has given a pulpit.
And sometimes it's a pulpit, Richard Wambran, of course, him and his wife, Sabrina, Corrie Ten Boom, there have been others. But not all of them need to be put in a pulpit. Still their doctrine is not developed. Your doctrine doesn't get developed, your Bible knowledge, by simply enduring the suffering. That's not to belittle it, not at all. It's just to look at what the scripture is teaching us. And these Christians suffered persecution and were now struggling in their doctrine and you would not want one of them to come and speak at your church at this point in their walk. And nothing is automatic.
Everything is hard work. 1 Corinthians 13, Paul talked about it. He says, though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor and though I give my body to be burned and have not love, it profits me nothing. Well, for the Christian to have love, there is an army of faith in back of it. It's connected to something.
It's not disconnected. It's not I just love the humanitarian causes. This all goes to the cross of Christ. Galatians 4 15, what then? I hope the verses, I hope the verses are not boring you. I hope you understand this is our authority and you stomp your foot down with all your weight and say this is our authority. The pastor can say anything he wants if it doesn't have scripture to back it up and it's not worth hearing. Well, there are some zones in there for humor. You don't need scripture for humor. You just can't violate it. But we're running out of time.
The clock will not slow down. Galatians 4 15, what then was the blessing you enjoyed? For I bear you witness that if possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me. But at the time he was writing them, he was saying, but you're leaving the faith. The same problem in Galatians that we're confronting in Hebrews. Galatia was shaken in her doctrine, shaken in her faith. And so again, be careful and discerning. Suffering for Christ is no guarantee of being solid. It's not trivial either.
Verse 36, for you have need of endurance so that you after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise. Well, there's no way around it. Take the pain, deal with it.
I mean, what are you going to do? You ever get, you know, you get sick there, you get sick. There's nothing you can do but to be sick sometimes. Sometimes you can take 10 or 20 Tylenol.
No, you can't. Not good for your liver and other things. You can take a couple of, ooh, chase that headache away. But then there are other times you got to go through food poisoning.
So there's one. And so life has got these things in it. And we face them in Christ. So verse 37, for yet a little while he who is coming will come will not tarry.
The early church always expected to see Christ at any time. We should have the same expectation because it's intentional. God wants us looking out the window up for him.
Should he say, don't worry about it? Don't be excited about the thought of my return? Verse 38, now the just shall live by faith. But if anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him. We meet this verse in Romans and Galatians and Hebrews. It's out of Habakkuk, the prophet. That great man of God who didn't like what God was doing and said, I will stand my watch and I will see how he will answer me and how I will respond when he answers me. He was a man totally committed to what God wanted in spite of what he liked or disliked. Galatians or Romans is the just, the just shall live by faith. And Paul takes the time to lay that out for them in Galatians is how we shall live. I'll take one part from Galatians two 20. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me and the life which I now live in the flesh. I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.
The just shall live by faith. Here in Hebrews, it is full out faith. He is telling, he's going to take the entire 11th chapter.
He's going to say, this is what it looks like. We have this illustrated in the lives of our ancestors beyond Hebrews two four. And I might run a little bit over about 50 or 60 minutes beyond Hebrews Habakkuk two four.
There's history. Martin Luther was converted because of the verse in Habakkuk through Romans. Martin Luther was a Catholic monk, Roman Catholic monk. And he was seeking forgiveness for his sins the wrong way, the Roman Catholic way, through penance. And so on his knees, he would go up a step at the pilot staircase in Rome. He'd take a step and he'd say prayers to Mary, even though the Bible says there's one intercessor between God and man, the man Jesus Christ. And while he was doing this, this verse rang out in his head, the just shall live by faith. Not penance, not hard, not fogging yourself, but trusting what God says. And he got up and he walked out of, he walked out of the Roman church and he took half of Europe with him. It wasn't immediate, but it happened just that way. He marched out of the church at Rome and that was the beginning of the reformation.
And thank God for it. I don't agree with a lot of what the reformers, their opinions, but I understand the struggles of many of them. Some of them I flat out don't like, but Luther was a manly man.
You have to admire things about him, though there are things about him that were very troubling also. Anyway, the fear of trusting for nothing must be overcome by courage of trusting the truth. It takes courage to have faith. You got to get that. Things are going to go with or without us. Make sure we're going with the ones that are going through the straight and narrow.
It starts with commitment. So God says through the writer, if anyone draws back, that means to pull away from Christ. My soul has no pleasure in him like Judas Iscariot. It brings only death, verse 39, but we are not those who draw back to perdition, but to those who believe to the saving of the soul. Apostates have their reasons for leaving the faith.
We have ours for staying in and let it be that way. There's nothing wrong with that. This word, perdition, it is hell. It is when Jesus said, the Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of him, but woe to the man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.
It would be good for that man if he had not been born. Well, he then later identifies that man in John 17. He says, while I was with them in the world, I kept them in your name. Those whom you gave me I have kept and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, same Greek word that the scripture might be fulfilled. And so when he uses this word in verse 39, we are not those who draw back to perdition. We're not going back to hell. We're not going to the life we had before we were saved. And then in Thessalonians Paul says of Antichrist, let no one deceive you by any means for that day will not come unless the falling away come first and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition.
I can go on and on and I'm ready to, but we'll close up with this. But of those who believe to the saving of the soul. That's who we are. We are not those who draw back. We are those who believe to the saving of the soul.
That is to death. Love God. Hate sin. Serve people. Use things. It simplifies our target for us in this life because under that umbrella of love God, we have 1 Corinthians 13. I can give my body to be burned.
I can suffer persecution, but if I'm not Christlike, it doesn't accomplish anything for me. You've been listening to Cross Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia. As we mentioned at the beginning of today's broadcast, today's teaching is available free of charge at our website. Simply log on to crossreferenceradio.com. That's crossreferenceradio.com. We'd also like to encourage you to subscribe to the Cross Reference Radio podcast. Subscribing ensures that you stay current with all the latest teachings from Pastor Rick. You can subscribe at crossreferenceradio.com or simply search for Cross Reference Radio in your favorite podcast app. Tune in next time as Pastor Rick continues teaching through the book of Hebrews right here on Cross Reference Radio.
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