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The Patriarch’s Faith (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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March 31, 2022 6:00 am

The Patriarch’s Faith (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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March 31, 2022 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the letter to the Hebrews

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What about when God says, just wait? The reason why Ishmael was born and all the problems that came from not only Ishmael but the descendants of Ishmael was because Abraham and Sarah did not wait.

They learned to, but they did not get it right away. One can become a Christian in an instant, but you cannot become a man of faith or a woman of faith in an instant. Saving faith, yes.

Serving faith, no. 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. But for now, let's join Pastor Rick in the book of Hebrews chapter 11 as he continues his message, The Patriarch's Faith. I think all of us get it who believe at one point or another, but Satan just wears on us.

The enemy wears on us. In Daniel, it speaks of the Antichrist in the last days that he will wear out the saints, and that's what he tries to do, just wear us out, wear us down through persecution or through temptation, through luxury. If you have it really good, you need to be asking God, what do I do with your goods because it's all yours? Verse 11, for he waited for the city which has foundations whose builder and maker is God. Now the writer, of course, has more light, more knowledge of God through Jesus Christ than Abraham had, though Abraham knew God.

No question about that. But as far as revelation from God about where he's going with Messiah and how he's going to save mankind, the writer has more information than Abraham had. And yet he is also saying, but Abraham, who can live like that man?

He waited for the city which has foundations. This is New Jerusalem. That's the New Testament knows that. Abraham just knew God had a better city for him without knowing the details.

There are situations in this life where we find ourselves incapable of doing anything with our faith or in our faith, both. And so where he says in verse 10, for he waited, that word stands out. He wait. Who wants to wait? Who wants to just leave church and go bumper to bumper traffic somewhere? You know, you go to the beach, you have a good time on the way home.

What do you have? If you're not careful, if you don't know some other routes, you're going to have bumper to bumper traffic and no one likes it. Waiting is not easy for us. But spiritually speaking, we must learn how to do it. Like it or not, you will be cast into positions where you do have to do it or you will get into your flesh and cause more problems.

The story of Hagar in the life of Abraham. And so when we are forced to be passive, when we are forced to endure, when we are forced to suffer what may appear to be defeat but we've not sinned, what may appear to be shame but we've not sinned, when we are frustrated but we've not sinned to bring these things on us, that is God saying, you have to wait. You must wait for things to develop. God works while we wait.

He works in us. Of course, James will have more to say on being patient when we get there. You'll just have to wait till we get to James. But it's much easier to be a busy body for God than to wait for God.

This unfortunately is carried out all over the place. Who needs the Holy Spirit? I can do it in my own energy.

I can muster up enough support, resources or whatever I want through my business savvy, through preaching sermons to pull on people's hearts, to get them to do what I would like them to do. Who needs the Holy Spirit for that? What about when God says just wait? The reason why Ishmael was born and all the problems that came from not only Ishmael but the descendants of Ishmael was because Abraham and Sarah did not wait.

They learned to but they did not get it right away. One can become a Christian in an instant but you cannot become a man of faith or a woman of faith in an instant. Not in the faith, in the saving faith, yes. Serving faith, no. That is worked in.

That is called maturity. That comes from hanging on the vine, abiding in Christ in all weather. John's Gospel, chapter 14, Jesus said, in my Father's house are many dwellings. Now I know some say, no, that word is mansions.

No, it's not. The Greek is not mansions but the prosperity teachers love that. They all think they're going to get a mansion. We won't, we'll maybe deal that another time but right now in my Father's house are many dwellings.

If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself that where I am, there you may also be. But you have to wait. Every one of all those disciples had to wait. All of them suffered for Christ while they were waiting. They suffered violence. They suffered life. They suffered the loss of loved ones. They suffered what comes with ministry in Christ amongst those who claim Christ.

They suffered it all just like we do. They had to wait. So while Abraham waited, one thing he did not do and that is depart from the faith and so he's telling these Hebrews, look at Abraham.

He knew how to wait. You have to wait. Yes, you're going through some tough times but you know who Jesus is. And the sufferings that come your way, all of them have been foretold. Don't grow frustrated and start believing in less. How easy it is to do that.

How easy it is to set standards high to have this great vision after coming to the word of God and saying, yes, I love this. I'm going to do this. I'm going to be that man of faith.

I'm going to be a Daniel. And then you set out on your journey and you find out you don't have it. And what are you going to do now?

You wait and you work. You see what else? So we've been covering this in the life of David. David could not build a temple and David said, well, what else can I do? So he stockpiled for the temple so that when the Jews came, when the temple was finally dedicated to God, they could say, God used David to do this. In fact, he used David more than Solomon.

He says the city, as I mentioned here in verse 10, that is the new Jerusalem that is spoken of in Revelation 21. In verse 11, by faith, Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed and she bore a child when she was past the age because she judged him faithful who had promised. Oh, wait, wait, wait. Sarah was faithful? Yeah, man, she was. But before she got there, before she got to that faithful moment, when she overheard the stranger show up and tell Abraham that you will have a child this time next year, she laughed.

She said, yeah, right. And God called her out on it. He asked Abraham, why did Sarah laugh?

Now, you can imagine Abraham's faith. Don't ask me. I didn't even hear her laugh because the scripture says she laughed in her heart. Well, Sarah said, I did not laugh. Oh, but you did.

No passes given here. Didn't let her off the hook. She never forgot it. And she adjusted her course. Otherwise, she never would have received the child.

She did. And the Hebrew writer tells us, Sarah, by faith, received the rebuke, corrected her course by faith and moved forward. How encouraging it is for all of us who have listened to something God has said and said in return, I don't think it's going to happen. Now, many times it's not going to happen. It's not God's will. It's not his perfect will or his permitted will. It's time for this to happen and you just got to live with it.

But then there are other things that God is working in us and he wants us to trust. He wants to change it. He wants to move through it. And we have to set the sail. God provides the wind. We have to raise the sail.

If you don't raise it and he provides the wind, you miss it. Isn't that the story of Thomas, the missing man? Where was he that day? Christ showed up after the death on the cross, after the resurrection. Where was Thomas? He was missing.

I don't want to be that man. Yeah, he showed up later in the grace of God and received yet another rebuke, did he not? Blessed are you, you see, you believe. More blessed are those who don't see and believe.

And so, Sarah, rather than continuing her course of doubt, she adjusted it and it was by faith. Verse 12, therefore from one man and him as good as dead were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude, innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore. The outcome proves that God's word is sure and Abraham is faithful.

The outcome, as you look on a map, you see the nation Israel, not Palestine, Israel. The people of God, the descendants of Abraham. The outcome events have proven God sure. The proof is with us today. Abraham and Sarah's descendants, not Abraham and Keturah, not Abraham and Hagar, though they're descendants you can, they're mixed in too, but not with the Jews. That is Abraham and Sarah. The proof of this word, the testimony that faith in God is what the believer is to pursue and relentlessly so.

Not for a season, but for a lifetime. I enjoy that about our faith. I enjoy that my spirit does, my flesh hates everything about the spirit and everything that comes from God. My flesh always wants it now and never wants to wait, does not want to ever suffer and then on the same side, none of us should want to suffer, but the spiritual man enjoys the fact that in the midst of whatever happens, God is there and God will show himself to his people. He traverses the earth, we're told in Chronicles, to show himself strong on behalf of those who seek him, who want him. In verse 13, these all died in faith. Not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, were assured of them, re-braced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. They all died in faith. That seems to be contradictory, but God doesn't say faith will keep you alive in this life.

He says faith will give you everlasting life. And so Abraham and Sarah, they never saw the fulfillment of the promises, the great increase of their offspring. They saw Isaac, they saw Jacob.

Well, at least Abraham saw Jacob. But they never saw the sons of Jacob and the tribes of Israel, but they believed it as the stars in the sky, the multitude. You don't get to see them so much now, but if you go to a place where the light is not washing out the sky. The first time I ever saw the sky or noticed the sky and all her stars was out on the desert. I just happened to be looking up and I couldn't believe what I saw. So in those days, you can imagine that statement would have been quite profound because you couldn't count the stars. There were so many of them.

They're still there, so I'm told. Anyway, the forces of faith are stronger than the forces of unbelief when we tap into them and we know it and that's why we stick with the faith even when we suffer. We stick with it because we know there are greater forces in operation. We understand that there are things happening that count beyond this life, that this life is not everything. So we work, we train ourselves to not cling to this life. It's not easy to do. In fact, it's impossible in the flesh to do it the way that God would have us do it, but it is very possible in the spirit.

Others have done it and we are doing it. He says they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. Again, their tents declared their attitude towards this world. Again, the altar of Abraham, it confessed his relationship with heaven. So the tent said, here's my relationship with the earth.

I'm not staying here. Here's my altar. It confesses my relationship with heaven.

I'm going there. Romans 12, verse 2, we all know this, reminding us that we are strangers away from home. We are pilgrims going home, traveling through. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Don't think like those who don't have Christ when it comes to the things of God. John, first letter, chapter 2, verse 17, the world is passing away in the lust of it, but he who does the will of God abides forever. First Peter 2, 15, for this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men, foolish men of this world or the product of this world. Verse 14 of Hebrews 11, for those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland.

Say what things? Well, the things we came across in verse 13 where they embraced and they confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims, so verse 14 says those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. Beyond this life there is unbroken happiness and we're working towards it, but we want to take with us more than us. We want to take a testimony. We want to take a well-done good and faithful servant. I mean, it's God.

We want God to say, I saw you. You worked for the kingdom. Are there any Christians here that your life is all about your life? You come to church, you worship God, you believe in God, you read the Bible, but you really don't do anything for God. If you're here this morning, I hope I'm not making you comfortable with that part of your life.

That part of your life needs to be disturbed. You need to be moved with a godly fear as was Noah before you. Noah went to work in a day when they had compared to today crude tools.

He went to work felling trees and building an ark. It is expected of you and me that we work for the kingdom. If you work for the kingdom, God will allow Satan to still come your way and say things like this. You're not doing it right. You're not doing enough. You're not doing anything. It doesn't matter.

You're wasting your time. You have to learn how to stand against those things for the equipping of the saints, for the work of ministry, for the edification of the body of Christ. That's why he has given us some to be called apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastor teachers for these things that we would be stirred.

But too often that little pebble in the road flips you off the road. You and me alike. So we set guards out. We post centuries and we relieve our centuries with fresh centuries so that we can get it done and the church can do this and you can do it and anyone that tells you otherwise is not telling you the truth. No intelligent Jew in the days of her revelation and her faith would ever say that the promised land was all that they were going to get, that that was the place of rest and there was nothing else. They knew there was something more and so do we. We know that this life is not all that we get. You come to church and you hear things like this that may challenge you. What would happen if you didn't go to church and hear these things to be challenged?

What is the opposite? What is the antithesis of not receiving the preaching of the word in season and out of season? You know Paul emphasized that to Timothy.

He said, give heed to the doctrine, to the scripture. Preach it to them all the time. Some will not like it. Some want their ears tickled but there are others they will receive it and they will produce and they won't feel sorry for themselves to the point where they can't get anything done. You know when you start those pity parties, you can't work. You got your little hat on and your little party favors and you're prancing around feeling sorry for yourself and you can't work. Change that party hat for our hard hat and serve the Lord. Now those of you who are serving, you're not to come under conviction when you are serving as though you're not serving and do God an injustice by saying well you know I'm just not doing anything for the Lord.

When you are and he'll come along and say then why are you doing all these things? It's my spirit in you. Grab hold of that. Enjoy it.

Run with it. Understand the ushers that are sitting in the hallways, the children workers right now. They're doing God's work whether they feel it or not. They take it by faith and if you don't take it that way, you become like someone in another church somewhere doesn't even believe in Christ but yet is working in the children's ministry. That happens and it happens quite a bit and it is shameful. How does that happen?

How do we let the leaven in this way? Verse 11, and truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. If they really wanted to go back, they could have gone back. This is speaking of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, and Jacob. They could have gone back to the land that God called them out.

It happens. Lot's wife, remember her, she looked back to the land that God saved her from and she perished. Demas forsook Paul having loved this present life. John Mark, John Mark's one of the beautiful stories of the New Testament. He stepped out into ministry with a lion's heart and ran like a lamb and then God brought him back in. Paul did the right thing by saying to one of us, I am not taking the one who dropped out like that. And then years later writing to Timothy, bring Mark with you.

He is useful to me for ministry. The mercy of God, the potential of his servants to rebound, to recover, to get back in. Maybe you have left the church where you were the problem.

Bad mouthing, sharing bad things. Now you come to another church. God's giving you another chance not to be that way again, to rise above it. He being dead still speaks it said of Abel.

We have to embrace these things as these patriarchs did. And so the recipients of this letter were to follow the example of the fruitful and not return to Judaism as Abraham and Isaac and Sarah did not return to Mesopotamia from which they came. Jesus said to him, no one having put his hands to the plow looking back is fit for the kingdom of God. John Mark did that. He took his eyes off the plow.

He looked back. He wasn't fit for service and Paul held him to that. And then he was rebuilt. And now we have the gospel according to Mark.

The mercy of God. No Christian, no Christian ought to mope over all their past mistakes when there's opportunity to make future victories. When we move forward, you know sometimes we post these excerpts from the sermons and sometimes I'll look at them and I'll say, boy, I didn't want to say it that way.

So if I am saying things the way I don't want to say them, they're my problem, not yours. My point that I'm trying to make out of that is listen to the Holy Spirit and not the preacher. If the preacher is right on, it's the Spirit of God.

Don't dismiss that. He works through broken vessels. He works through those who really on all that. That should give you great hope and great encouragement. So again, I feel like I need to say this again.

Is there anyone here, you started out loving, serving the king and now you don't because you got so many other things going on. That's all wood, hay, and stubble more than likely. It's going to burn up. What is going to count on that day when you stand before the Lord? What would happen if Noah said build an ark? That's a lot of work.

I'm not going to do it. God would have found someone else to do it. This happens again and again in good churches. We don't want 10% of the people doing 100% of the work.

We want 100% of the workers working together. But now they desire a better, verse 16, that is a heavenly country there for God is not ashamed to be called their God for he has prepared a city for them. God certainly is ahead of us. I like what Augustine has to say.

We're talking about a better place for us. The struggles between this place and that place, between tent living and living in that city whose builder and maker of the foundations is God. Augustine in the 5th century said two cities are formed by two loves. He's speaking about in our hearts. The earthly by the love of self even to the contempt of God. The heavenly by the love of God even to the contempt of self. So your carnal nature does not like your spiritual nature.

And your spiritual nature does not like your carnal nature. And these two war against each other. The one you feed the most is the one that's going to prevail. You'll have this fight, this dogfight throughout your life. But you are in line or in formation with all the other saints before you.

And so two cities are formed by two loves. And we are to keep our eyes on the Lord as much as we can in spite of the setbacks and disappointments we incur. For God is not ashamed to be called their God.

Who? Those who live by faith. Verse 17, by faith Abraham when he was tested offered up Isaac.

And he who had received the promise offered up his only begotten. 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 / 2023-05-13 19:39:23 / 2023-05-13 19:48:41 / 9

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