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. 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 continue teaching through Hebrews chapter 11 and his message called The Patriarch's Faith. The outcome proves that God's word is sure and Abraham is faithful. The outcome is 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's 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 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, embraced 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 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. And 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. 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. 1 Peter 2, 15. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. The foolish men of this world are 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. Hebrews 13, 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 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 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 who 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 Barnabas, 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 own 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 and 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, he 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. Therefore 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, of whom it is said, in Isaac your seed shall be called. The magnitude of this test is astounding.
I would never want to be subject to such a test. He was called to slay the one that God gave him. He was called to personally slay the most single important person in his life. It was a commandment from God. An imperative. And he obeyed.
He stepped forward to do it. Isaac, the living promise, put on the altar but not lost. God is not like that.
He is good. Abraham reasoned God knows what he's doing. If I slay the son, he is able to raise him again. Who has got faith like this? Abraham.
That's who. And it should haunt me a little bit. To where I can say, Lord, maybe I cannot get to that level of faith, but I'll get to a higher level of faith with it than I would have without it. The standards of God are high, and they should be.
He does never tell his children, aim low, try to get as little done as you can. He calls us to overcome, for they did not love their lives to the death. They overcame through the blood of the Lamb. It tells us in Revelation of the Martyrs, verse 19, concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense. And so instead of saying, this is crazy and it's cruel, I'm not doing it, Abraham obeyed and he trusted. And the outcome, of course, vindicates the Lord and establishes his faith. Verse 20, by faith, Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. I love this part here. Isaac kept the faith.
That's what it is saying. He blessed and he prophesied. He told the future, the spiritual event.
Genesis 27, verse 33 talks about this. Then Isaac trembled exceedingly and said, Who? Where is the one who hunted game and brought it to me? I ate all of it before you came, and I have blessed him, and indeed he shall be blessed. Now I'm reading that as though you know the story, and for those of you who don't, what has just taken place is, Jacob, the younger of the two twins, Esau and Jacob, were twins, sons of Isaac. Jacob deceived his father so that he could get the blessing. And Esau shows up late, the elder son who went out to hunt game for his father so he could get the blessing. And when he comes in and he says, Father, I've had the game, now bless me, it says, Isaac trembled exceedingly and said, Who? Where is the one who hunted game and brought it to me? I ate all of it before you came.
And now listen to this. And I have blessed him, and indeed he shall be blessed. He did that by faith.
But there's a lot going on here. The terror where it says he trembled exceedingly because he realized he was fighting against God. He was trying to bless Esau when God had long ago, before their birth, prophesied that the younger would be the one to receive the blessing.
And so Isaac, for his whole life, he's been loving Esau, who was as spiritual as a goat, and that little, you know, pansy boy Jacob was mama's boy. And in an instant, he recognized he was on the wrong side. So he trembled. Instead of cursing Jacob for pulling this stunt, he fears God. He sees God overruled him, and he submits instantly to that. He bows in self-judgment, and spiritually he's in touch with the throne in heaven, and that's why he is in terror. I've messed up before God.
And it is a beautiful story when you remember it is that way. He expresses his faith in those words. Indeed, he shall be blessed. Yeah, he did it the wrong way, but the blessing was given, and it cannot be taken back. And he gave a blessing to Esau too, which was not as great, but it wasn't shabby. Spiritually, it had not much in it.
But then you think about these two men. From Jacob came Christ. From Esau came Herod.
The Herod's. God is vindicated in his word again. Verse 21, by faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff. Jacob blessed, Jacob worshiped. He passes all these colorful events in the life of Jacob, and he goes to the finish line of Jacob. He doesn't talk about when he was in his youth, and when he was trusting God, and making a pledge, and anointing a stone, and creating an altar. He passes all that, and he goes to his deathbed. And he says that was faith.
To the end. He struggled with his faith, but he struggled. And he leaned on his staff by faith.
That staff indicated two things. Yes, he was old now, but he was also lame, because he wrestled with God. The mark of God was on his body. And these blessings and judgments, when he blessed his children, there were judgments involved.
Some of them received just judgment. You know, Benjamin is a ravenous wolf. I mean, he did not compliment the descendants of Benjamin. And again, events proved him right. But he did not see these things happen.
The latter generations did. That was by faith. And so he's leaning on the top of his staff, worshiping to an end, supported by a dead piece of wood, but supported in his spirit far above it all. Why does not the Holy Spirit right here recall at least one of Jacob's foul-ups? And there were many. There were more than were written in the scripture.
They were there. Why doesn't he recall them? Put that on the list, Lord.
Why not? It's the mercy of God. He's showing us faith overrules those things in our life for those who believe because I said so, because of the blood of Christ. I believe this, and I love it.
Because I know how many times I fail, and I know that the mercies of God are new every morning. There's an endless supply for those who believe in him according to the scripture. Verse 22, by faith. Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel and gave instructions concerning his bones. Among Joseph's last words were remarkable words of faith. He knew God would someday fulfill the promise given to his parents that the Jews would have the promised land. And so on his deathbed, he says, make sure my dead bones end up in that promised land.
That's a testimony. He's saying this, I know where I belong. Do we know where we belong? Do we know where we belong as servants of God in this life? We know where we belong after this life. That's in heaven. Where do I belong right now?
How are you going to ever find that question out? Well, you're going to have to have scripture, because it has to be according to the scripture, but you're also going to have to live what you find in scripture as best you can. And so the Holy Spirit passes over all those magnificent events in the life of Joseph. There is so much in his life that you would think he would say, by faith Joseph did this, you know, built the silos. By faith he interpreted the dream.
You'd think he'd do things like that. By faith he forgave his rotten, no good scoundrel brothers. Doesn't say that. By faith he said, get my dead bones into the promised land.
That covered everything. He said, God's promises are sure, whether you see them or not, whether you live or die before they happen. God is sure. And that's what he is telling this audience. Jesus Christ is sure. Don't you depart from him. So we close with this word from the book of Acts.
Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told 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.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-13 11:26:13 / 2023-05-13 11:35:30 / 9