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Faith Has Evidence Enough (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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March 23, 2022 6:00 am

Faith Has Evidence Enough (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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March 23, 2022 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the letter to the Hebrews

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They did not get this testimony in some cathedral somewhere locked away in a room.

They were out in the world. Trials gave them opportunities to demonstrate their faith and God uses them as sermons to us to encourage us and then God uses us as sermons to encourage others. When we take the communion, Paul at the end of the communion, he says, when you do these things you preach Christ. When you come to the table with the body, you break bread in communion as he said, do this in remembrance of me. You're preaching a sermon.

Do you believe that? 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. And now here's Pastor Rick in Hebrews chapter 11 with his message called, Faith Has Evidence Enough. Matthew 4 verse 4, as I mentioned, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. How profound is that? It's such a simple statement coming from the very throne in heaven of God. You live by my word, all of it.

Tozier again is A. W. Tozier. It takes the whole Bible to make a whole Christian. I love that statement. And you know how many Christians don't want to receive instruction from the pulpit. They rather get it from the internet or glean it somewhere, but they don't want to sit in a church and receive the word.

They want to be entertained. And it's unfortunate. Churches that entertain have full parking lots. Churches that preach the word, they don't, as a rule. John's Gospel 7 verse 38, Jesus speaking, he who believes in me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart will flow living waters, living waters singular. Hebrews 11 verse 6, without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that he is and, and that he is a rewarder of those who trust him, who, the verse says, diligently seek him through hard work. So again, you come to the church, you say, I can't keep up with this. It's hard. There's no diligence there. And Paul says, study to show yourself approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed.

Study means hard work. Is God not worth that much? Here's some things about faith. You cannot dismiss it. Faith is such a big topic.

You cannot exhaust it, but you cannot dismiss it either. Faith is not centered on what one can get out of this life, but of where you go after it. How many Christians think faith is something to get something in this life to have fun with?

A better house, a better car, a better lifestyle. That's not faith. It doesn't mean those things are wrong in and of themselves, but that's not what faith is centered in. Faith is not centered in objects. It's centered in a person.

What does he want with my life? It lays hold of what Jesus has said, what he has done, and what he has foretold. That's big prophecy coming to pass in our lifetime.

Just the last 50 years alone are astounding. In detail, setting up the stage for the big show. You go to a theater, and if you happen to get there early enough, you're allowed in while the stagehands are putting the props in place. You can see what's going on, where this is going. If they set up a battlefield, well, it's going to be a battlefield scene.

If they set up a kitchen, it's going to be food involved or something. Christ has set the stage through the prophecies in scripture. Faith leaps into the light because of it, based on evidence enough, according to the scripture. Trusting God. That is our shield of life. And so Paul says take up the shield of faith.

You're going to need that. If you're going to block what's going to come at you, and there is going to be a lot, especially the children of the world. The world is attacked with things, part of being under the curse.

We're attacked with the same things and our faith, doubts, to challenge us, to push us away, to make us useless. How many Christians right now, people that I believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, I believe I'm a sinner and only by him I'm saved, will not come into the house of God because they're doing their thing. I think that's noble. And I understand, I don't want to sound malicious, but it's not right.

You have to be in, on the field of battle. We'll come to some more of that in a minute. But a difference between a saved person and an unsaved person is not that one has faith and the other does not have faith. The difference is what they have faith in, or who they have faith in. Everybody exercises faith, believe it or not.

You come into a building, you trust that the structure is not going to randomly collapse. But of course there's much more to faith than just trusting in proven laws of physics. The unbeliever, they trust something other than the scripture. We trust the scripture and that's where the contest is. Faith being no greater than the object.

Because, and the becausees are important, faith is not believing without evidence. Superstition is, that's what superstition is. Throw some salt over your shoulder to ward off the demons. Put a rabbit's foot in your pocket and you'll have a happy day.

Whistle while you go through the cemetery and none of them will grab you. Or whatever. It is faith, not superstition. We don't have to let the world dictate to us what proof is. Proof is proof. Listen, if I stand here and say to a worldling, you know the pilgrims settled America in 1940 and they did it in Wyoming.

They would laugh. We have records. We have writings.

Oh, you trust those things? Then why do you mock the scripture? Why do you mock it when we trust the scripture? Well, this is the battle that we are engaged in. Faith rejects what rejects scripture.

That's part of faith too. So, here we go, the verses. Oh, I'll take this one from 2 Thessalonians. Now, Paul is writing to the church, these new believers. They came to him. When he came to them, beaten, he and Silas, they were scourged with canes in Philippi. They made their way to Thessalonica. They were chased around for their faith. And he gets there and he makes converts.

Hey, anybody want to be a Christian? Look at the beating we just took. And then many of them said, yeah, anything is better than these fake idols. Well, not anything.

Truth is better. And so Paul boasts about them. Well, when he left Thessalonica, because they chased him out of Thessalonica, they wrote to him.

They wanted to know what is going to happen at the end of the world. And so he writes to them. And he says, there is coming a political leader who the world is going to love. He's going to have charisma, but he's going to be a liar. He's going to act like he loves the Jews.

He's going to act like he's everybody's friend and he's not. And he gives us some information. He says the coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan with all power signs and lying wonders and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish because they did not receive the love of the truth that they might be saved. For this reason, God will send them strong delusion that they should believe the lie. God says, fine, I've done everything I can to make you believe you reject that. All right, take a lie. That's what you want.

Here you go. And so faith rejects what rejects scripture. They are rejecting scripture. Matthew 13, 12, false Christ and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive if possible. The elect Matthew 7, 20, therefore, by their fruits, you will know them.

The line wonders. You see them do things you say, yeah, but these people are immoral. They are harmful. They are frauds because of that. That's why the Lord says by their fruits, you'll know them.

First Timothy four one. Now the spirit expressly says that in latter times, some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits, doctrines of demons, demons teach human beings and human beings don't even acknowledge their teachers. Well, that's no surprise. Many of them don't acknowledge the creator. They commit fraud. They sign someone else's name on the creation of the world.

And that's what we're talking about here. The creator and all that he is doing, but he says in the end times, they're going to leave the face. That's the apostate church that will be very much alive and well during the days of Antichrist. Second Timothy four three for the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers.

They're already doing this. I didn't like when he said about cheesecake. It's not our doctrine. It's never, I don't like what he said about scripture. It's always something else. When, when Christians begin to mock churches that preach the word, it is never the main thing. It is always the secondary thing.

So beware and share it with others who may do it. We could go on with that. He says here in verse one, we're still in verse one. The substance of things to hope for. The substance. Faith is the thing.

It makes all the difference with God. Colossians, when Paul was writing to a place called Colosseum, he's writing to Christians there and they were succumbing to all sorts of lies and so he takes the paper and he deals with these lies and he says, I know you've got these rituals and these diets and all this other stuff and he says this, which are the shadow of things to come, but the substance is Christ. There's a different Greek word he uses there. The word that he uses for substance there is the body. The body is Christ, the life. Here it's the same thought, different word and very important, we'll open this word up substance in one moment.

We won't abuse it. The substance of things hoped for. The meat. The body of it. The word substance in the Greek, which the Bible was originally written in.

We have translated it into various languages. It comes from two, it comes from one Greek word that is made of two Greek words and the two Greek words are stand under. So if you looked at the Greek word, I don't want to pronounce it because I might get it wrong and look sillier, but if you take that one Greek word, it's a compound word, to stand under. It speaks of a foundation, a pillar, a column, a support member, a load-bearing wall.

It supports. So he says faith is the load-bearing wall. Faith is the foundation. Faith is the pillar. Faith holds it up. Without faith, there is no substance and that the world proves. They have not Christ. They don't trust him.

They have not the substance of things hoped for. Some translators translate the word assurance. That is proper. That is not incorrect. That doesn't mean it's the only word they could have chosen. Substance is proper also.

The words are to convey thoughts, to communicate and they do, both words do that well. Too many have hopes built without consulting or trusting God without that substance. And so the evidence of things not seen, proof enough. Now as the writer says, faith is the substance.

It holds everything up. Is evidence here. It's a concept.

We should have no problem understanding. Faith enables the believing soul to treat the invisible as seen. Faith does that. You who are born again, you see things that the world does not see.

I don't mean you have to see psychedelic trips or anything like that. But you see. You've got it crystal clear. 2 Corinthians. Yeah, we quote the scripture because it's God's word to us. And it is, without it, it's just gibberish.

It's just a lecture on ideas. But with it, it's the power of God. We do not look at the things which are seen, Paul writes, but the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not are eternal. A spiritual realm. But there's two spiritual realms to be concerned with. There is the satanic spiritual realm, everything opposite and against and contrary to God. Then there is the spiritual realm of the king. And so evidence of things not seen. Now, when you, if you were to walk down in Manhattan, midtown Manhattan, and you go through the canyon of skyscrapers, you cannot see that massive structure's foundation. But you know it's there. You have no doubt. Because you reason.

You use your mind along with your brain. And you, that reasoning demands the fact the foundation is there, otherwise the structure would not stand. Oxygen, invisible. But we all believe in it, don't we? God is evident in the unseen. And this is beyond argument to the believer, but not to the unbeliever.

Again, that's our challenge. The visible world bears witness of an invisible creator, and the world wants nothing to do with that. Creation demands a creator, and yet they do not agree with that. Psalm 19 one, the heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows his handiwork. There's the evidence. There's foundational.

There's substance. But it is not accepted in the court of the unbeliever. And so that is faithlessness. In verse two now, we've covered faith is the substance of things hoped for.

And the things hoped for for the believer is the will of God and the heaven that awaits us. And to condense it, verse two, for by it the elders obtained a good testimony. So there were others before us.

We're not Johnny-come-lately's. There are others who exercised faith and left a record behind to demonstrate it. The elders here are the past heroes. Faithful Old Testament characters that he is going to list in the coming weeks. We'll get to that, of course. After all the centuries, one thing is left standing amongst the ruins of ancient Babylon.

One thing and one thing only. The testimony of Daniel, Mordecai, of Esther, of Azariah, Mishael, and Hananiah. Those testimonies are standing. Babylon is gone, and whatever ruins they've unearthed, they are just that, ruins.

They're a conversation piece, but nobody lives there. Faith in action. Noah was a man who obtained a good testimony. He knew what it meant to trust God and do something with the trust. Otherwise, he would have perished in the flood.

We'll be getting to him in future weeks or days to come. Remember Lot's wife? Those words, ominous. Jesus said them, remember Lot's wife?

Oh, man. Anybody flirting with doubt that was raised in the Jewish society when they heard him say, remember her? What happened to her? A human being turned into a pillar of salt by the will of God because of her disobedience, because of her lack of faith.

She refused to trust. As she put her faith into action, she would have been saved along with Lot and his two daughters, but she was not. And so all of these heroes of the faith achieved a testimony in the presence of an unwelcome enemy. Life.

Life with its curse and its Satan and all the things that go on. That's where they got their testimony. They did not get this testimony in some cathedral and were locked away in a room.

They were out in the world. Trials gave them opportunities to demonstrate their faith, and God uses them as sermons to us to encourage us, and then God uses us as sermons to encourage others. When we take the communion, Paul at the end of the communion, he says, when you do these things, you preach Christ. When you come to the table with the body, you break bread in communion as he said, do this in remembrance of me. You're preaching a sermon.

Do you believe that? David, he struck Goliath because Goliath was in range. That's what happens when trouble comes our way. It's in range.

We're in range too. But the devil came again to David a second time. There were other times, but a big time in the form of Bathsheba, and he did not take the shot. He failed. He had opportunity to rise above it. He did not. Well, that's not criticizing David.

That's a fact because who am I to criticize David? I and you are just as susceptible to him, maybe not to that sin, but to something, and the only reason why you've not completely collapsed because it's not been your, it hasn't come your way, and so we pray lead us not into temptation. Deliver us from evil. Anybody want to be tortured to see if you're going to stick by the faith?

You'd be crazy to say yes. Revelation 2.13, Jesus speaking, he says, I know your works. I know what you've done, where you dwell. I got your number. I know where you live. He says, where Satan's throne is.

Where is that? Well, you know, technically, that's everywhere because he has given, he is the God of this age. He has free reign to harass, not entirely free.

He still gets permission, but he gets a lot of it. He says, and you hold fast to my name. You're right there in the midst where Satan is, and you hold to my name. Did not deny my faith, even in the days in which Antipas was my faithful martyr. At the time the Lord spoke that Antipas was with him in heaven. He was killed among you where Satan dwells. You see, Satan came into range for Antipas to take a shot, and he took it by faith, and he died, and he won. In preparation for this morning's message, yesterday morning, I felt so unqualified. I was like, Lord, how?

I mean, come on. What am I going to say about faith? I can preach all the bold things about it, but is it really mine? Am I just repeating things I've picked up in the faith from others? I felt inadequate. I do all the time in the presence of God's word, but this was a little different, and I do what I usually do when I get to those places. I take a pen and pad, and I begin to write my prayer to him. I begin to write to God. Lord, I can't do this, but I'm cornered.

What else can I do? I'm not as strong physically as I once was. Time is catching up, and my faith, this seems like yesterday I was so much stronger as a believer, but over the years I've taken so many hits, so much failure, so many defeats. Maybe we can just rush through these verses and get to the heroes of the faith. Then God spoke. He said, I wrote it down because I wanted to get it as he said it to me. You would never have suffered those defeats, the hurt, the shame, the frustration, the despair, the doubts, and the victories had you been off the battlefield if you did nothing, if you served yourself in my name. You never would have been there to suffer like this.

The enemy has come in range. You took shots. Furthermore, he said, on the battlefield of sin, love suffers long. First Corinthians sounds like a Bible verse.

First Corinthians 13, 4, love suffers long and, don't leave this part out, love suffers long and is kind. How many of you feel betrayed, wounded, and you think you're justified now in not being kind? You strike back. You retaliate.

You are a counter-puncher at that point. Instead of saying love suffers long and is kind, Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he says, suffer the loss. You go to the world with these troubles, suffer the loss. I don't want to suffer. Well, you better learn. If you're going to have the faith that goes into action that counts long term, you better learn 1 Peter 4, beloved, do not think it's strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you as though some strange thing happened to you. That's what happens when we get a bad report from anything.

That's very serious. Satan comes along and says, it's you. You're singled out because you're the goofball. If you've been obedient, if you've been a good Christian, this would have never happened to you.

He's lying. It happens to the best Christians. In fact, the closer you walk, the stronger your faith, the bigger the target you become. You will draw fire. Make it count. Some of you will just suffer because you don't serve. You do nothing for the kingdom.

I'm not trying to bash you. These are the facts. And so your suffering doesn't count like it would if you're taking hits and doing what you're supposed to do. And this is a process.

It's not a snap of the finger moment. The process of asking the Lord, what do I do with my life? Then he tells you. Then you begin to do it.

And then you find this drudgery involved. Oh, God's not in this. Oh yeah, he is. Suffer long and is kind. So Peter says, but rejoice. And he's writing to a persecuted church. He says, but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings that when his glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. He says, make it count.

Don't just suffer like the world does it to get nothing in the end. First Peter four, if you are reproach for the name of Christ, blessed are you for the same spirit, for the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. Their party is blasphemed or in your part, he is glorified. So when they said, Hey Peter, we're suffering persecution. What does the great apostle have to say to us?

He says suffer, but suffer like believers suffer in faith. 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 That's 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 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.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-18 23:26:32 / 2023-05-18 23:35:59 / 9

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