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Faith Has Evidence Enough (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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March 24, 2022 6:00 am

Faith Has Evidence Enough (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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March 24, 2022 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the letter to the Hebrews

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All liars shall have their part in the lake, which burns with fire, and brimstone, which is the second death, sums up the attitude and the fate of those who mock Christ. And they mock that, oh, hell's going to be hot. Well, I can't say brother, but I can say other. You don't know half the story. You think it's going to be a hot you can endure.

Hell. If it was anything about it, that was pleasant. That is the attitude of the God Hater Society. 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. It's 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 to 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, 1, 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 2 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 2, for by it the elders obtained a good testimony. So there were others before us.

We're not Johnny-come-latelys. 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 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? 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've 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. It 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, it 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, and 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. 1 Corinthians, sounds like a Bible verse.

1 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, he 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. 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.

Get nothing in the end. 1 Peter 4, if you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you for the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part, he is blasphemed.

But on 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. And so maybe there is someone here, you can't understand this because you only fight personal battles. Seldom do you ever fight for the king. You may fight illness. You may fight family members or issues with your family. You may fight job issues, finances, but you're never in the house of God, the holy house of God. You're not there fighting.

All your fights are out there and really have nothing to do with eternity as they could. And so you come to church and you hear these things. You're supposed to.

Again, you're not going to get this at Walmart. It's not enough to come into the house of God and sing songs. Wednesday, we've got five minutes and verse three is a long one, but we'll get it. Wednesday we read from 1 Chronicles and David says, moreover, because I have set my affection on the house of my God, I have given to the house of my God. Over and above all, I have prepared for the holy house my own special treasure of gold and silver.

He poured it out. So we ask ourselves, what makes the house holy? The same thing that makes faith, faith for the Christian. It's God. It's Christ. If God's house is so holy, then why isn't our parking lot full on Sunday mornings?

Why aren't Christians who can be in formation out of formation? Oh, I got up late. I was up late last night.

We decided to have house church. Oh, gosh. It's like, if I hear that one more time, what are we going to do? Suffer. That's what I'm going to do. And I'm going to be kind.

Where are they? Well, we had a sporting event today. That's what I'm talking about. You say, I don't like this, Pastor. You're not supposed to like it in your flesh, but your spirit should be saying, yes, the holy house of God. Count me in. Put my name down. I'll be there. The lot will be full. People will go by and they'll say, why is that place always full? Because the word is preached.

I want to go there. That's not what's going to happen, is it? Muster will be next Sunday. There will be those that will be absent without leave.

Unauthorized absence. And because God is gracious and He just dismisses it, you're going to do it again. Unless, you say, faith is the substance of things hoped for. The evidence of things not seen. By it, the elders. They grabbed hold of a testimony.

Put me in that number. The world, they have their events. They pack it out. The mosques are full. The Hindu temples are full. The churches that preach God's word.

Just as many empty seats as there are full seats. And you shouldn't be good with that. I am not singling out anybody, but if it is you, I'm not going to take it back. Sit down and say, Lord, what do I say? Well, here's what you say. Verse 3 says, by faith we understand.

Do we? Do I understand, Lord? Well, you're never going to learn unless you get out there and do something, lad.

You'll be the we lad instead of the strong man if you don't get out there and do something. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so the things which are seen are not made of the things which are visible. There's more to this life than what you can see and touch. And Paul was converted. He told a story. He said at midday, he could remember the time of day, along the road I saw a light from heaven brighter than the sun shining around me and those who journeyed with me. We're journeying with everybody that's in this world right now that's alive. We journey with them, but we see the light.

Paul was trying to get the king to see the light. Faithlessness says seeing is believing. Faith says believing is seeing because I got the key, and the key unlocks the revelation of God, so I can see that which is invisible to those without the key, but clearly seen by those with it. And so to suppose that biblical Christianity is without reason, without evidence, is short-sighted, and it is often vindictive. You know, people think because they've gone to some bogus church and been done wrong, been victimized, that now gives them a platform to attack Christianity.

They do this all the time. Roman Catholicism is one of the biggest enablers of this. You look at your big-time atheists and see what their background is. So the Christian testimony matters. Don't think for one moment that because you're not Noah or David that your testimony is trivial. It is going to be something either used by the devil or used by God.

It's up to you. You can be God's child and have Satan play you. You can be the mark because you are always marked. When you become born again, you get a spiritual T-shirt with a giant bullseye on it. And when that enemy comes into range, you have an opportunity for a testimony. And so, Revelation 21 8, but the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderous, sexual, immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death, sums up the attitude and the fate of those who mock Christ.

And they mock that. Oh, hell's going to be hot. Well, I can't say brother, but I can say other.

You don't know half the story. You think it's going to be a hot you can endure. It wouldn't be hell.

If it was anything about it, that was pleasant. That is the attitude of the God haters society. He says that the world is refrained by the word of God. That word, therefore, word in our English, the Greek word rima, that is the spoken word of God. Logos is the personification of the thought of God.

It is actually what it is. And so that's why we read in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God. The word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld his glory and the glory of the only begotten of the father full of grace and truth. How can you not turn to guns on someone who says, yeah, but the Jesus isn't God when it says it right there.

Anyway, back to the point. Rima is the spoken word. So when the writer is saying Genesis one, verse three, God said, let there be light. And then God said, let there be a firmament. God said, see, that's the spoken word of God, but the thought was already there. God didn't have to speak it, but he did. That's how it's given to us and it's easier to take it that way than to chop it up. And so God spoke.

The world's refrained by the word of God. In other words, no such thing as evolution. I know it's evil, but it's evil.

You get nothing for that. I mean, they don't even believe it, yet they stand by it. I was going to take all this time to slam evolution, but really, do I need to?

They're willing to believe anything except the Creator and somehow this has become admirable. Ooh, fellow evolutionists, you must be a scientist. No, you're not. You're a philosopher. There's no proof for evolution because if there were, they would be driving around with it, plastered all over their cars. We found it. We found the missing link.

You're the missing link. I don't mean to insult. I don't mind sometimes. Well, if it'd get it done. I mean, if a punch in the gut will get you to heaven, not a literal one, as appealing as that might be.

If in the course of argument, you can hurt them with truth enough to convert them, then take it. The devil, again, has no difficulty damaging the mind and leaving the brain intact. This explains why there are smart, dumb people. That's the explanation. Why would someone so otherwise intelligent be so incredibly foolish? Even as a child growing up, talking about evolution that some other kid heard from his science teacher, say, you know, this is actually kind of childish, not childlike.

It's kind of weak. You just kill it with the first one. Where did the first molecule come from to begin the process? All right, we all know these things. Our Christians go off to school with strong faith oftentimes, and they go into the sciences, and they come back mingling evolution with Christianity. Oh, yeah, it happens without a shred of proof. But they have this or that and makes them feel that they can say it. This is what the Bible says to them and to you and me. Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy. An empty deceit according to the tradition of man, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ who said by the word.

That's why we took that time to say Rima, the outspoken word. God said, let there be light. There is no evolution.

There is creation. And you are not supposed to stop believing scripture because men tell you, you must. And yet our students go and do just that very thing because they become enthralled with their universities are have a cult like feature to them. When they give you that flat hat that you would wear nowhere else and you walk up and they give you this, you are now somebody because we say you are somebody. It doesn't mean that they have no brains, but it doesn't mean they have a mind for Christ. And if we don't distinguish that, we get lost. I don't have to have this great brain to preach the truth. I do not have to be a genius to be a witness. So we must finish this up.

We're already over. So the things which are seen are not made of the things which are visible. Again, science, true science is mingled with pop science, what's popular. We're seeing this with the climate change, not a shred of evidence. In fact, the evidence is that they're changing, they're lying about the evidence. We're supposed to trust them now.

And it just goes on and on. They have so many of their gatherings cancelled because of snow and that is true. They're not even reporting how many of their ice breaking ships are getting stuck in the Arctic circles of the world up and down, north and south.

They don't even want to tell you. We're going down to report the shrinkage of the ice and our ships are getting stuck 10 miles off the shore. You will know them by their fruits. So these unseen forces that don't submit to those in lab coats will continue on. So I close with this from Acts chapter 27 as we consider the verse before us so that the things which are seen are not made of the things which are visible. Paul, he says this, Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.

That is the substance, that is faith, the evidence of things not seen. 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. Join us next time as Pastor Rick continues teaching through the book of Hebrews right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-18 11:42:16 / 2023-05-18 11:52:01 / 10

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