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The Greatest Race of All Time

Finding Purpose / Russ Andrews
The Truth Network Radio
March 20, 2021 12:00 pm

The Greatest Race of All Time

Finding Purpose / Russ Andrews

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March 20, 2021 12:00 pm

Leading his men's group through Hebrews 12: 1-3, Pastor Russ Andrews talks about the most important race we will ever run - the race to Heaven - and poses these three questions: How do we enter? How do we run it? And how do we win it?

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This is the Truth Network do you feel like you're on a religious treadmill. Do you feel like Christianity is just a system of rules and regulations, I can do this but I can't do that. Do you feel like your efforts to reach God. Find God, and please God. If you do you feel like your faith is dead or alive today. Pastor Russ Andrews will walk us through Scripture to answer these questions join us on finding purpose of local Triangle ministry glorifying God by helping men find their purpose for living.

For more information and to connect with Russ Andrews and finding purpose could visit us connect with us on Facebook. Now let's listen to Russ Andrews as he teaches us how to be a Christian without being religious heavenly father. Like you, for this line will thank you for this day. Thank you Lord for creed. The world creating us in your image given us a spirit that we might have a relationship with you that we might come to know you, that we might communicate with you and you with us in that you might live with us in us for your indwelling Holy Spirit, and Laura, thank you that you as our heavenly father love us so much and that you care about us so much that you even take it you invest the time to discipline us when we need it, not so much to punish us but to conform us into the man, the godly man that you created us to be that we might live lives that are pleasing to you. And labs that are full of purpose and meaning and significance and joy and peace even in the midst of a dark world of fallen world, a sinful world.

So what I ask you tonight to speak to us from your word. I pray to my father, Joe Ward would go forth and accomplish the very purpose for which you intend and I pray that anyone listening who doesn't know you will be drawn to you. Lord, that you would lift the veil from their eyes and enable them to see you like they've never seen you before, and to know you. In Jesus name I pray. Amen. Okay so on. If you will take your Bibles and turn to Hebrews chapter 12 are such a nice message entitled the greatest race of all time. Hebrews chapter 12 in verse 20 chapter 9 verses 24 through 27. The apostle Paul writes do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize run in such a way as to get across.

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore Paul says I do not run like a man running aimlessly. I do not fight like a man beating the air know update my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize, Paul describes the Christian life is a race tonight from Hebrews 12 I like to answer three questions concerning this rice first. Perhaps the most important, how do we interact.

Second, how do we run it third. How do we when it so first how does one enter this race was the Christian life would take your Bible and turn with me to Matthew chapter 7 verses 13 and 14 Matthew chapter 7, 13, 14. Here Jesus says enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it. What is Jesus main lease, explaining that there are only two paths I will call them to Rice's in this life only two to Rice's one is the race that leads to eternal destruction, inhale the other race leads to eternal life in heaven very only two options. One race is run to win the approval of man while the other race is run to win the approval of God in John chapter 12 verses 42 and 43 John rights unit the same time, many, even among the leaders believed in Jesus because the Pharisees they would not confess their faith in Jesus, for they, for they fear that they would be put on the synagogue, for they love praise from men more than praise God for whose praise are you living at is one enter through the narrow gate the same way all the people we read about last week in Hebrews chapter 11, by faith, and faith alone all the way down through history to our present day the people running the race.

On the narrow road run it by faith in Christ Jesus, who is become their Lord and Savior Jesus is the forerunner of every single person who is running the race. On the narrow road that leads to heaven. How do you enter through the narrow gate. John 112 says you to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. Only God's true children are running this great race and they all run it by faith. Everyone else is on the wild road there living for the pleasures of this world and they are blind and they do not realize that the right of the traveling alone leads to eternal destruction.

It was so incredible is many of them go to churches where they all never warned about this. I think it was on my can remember.

Grant Casper, a minister shared this Sunday I came up was Jonathan Edwards or somebody said that every evangelist should be held over the gate of hail for 24 hours before we sent out to share the truth which race are you running it makes all the difference in the world. How we run this race.

That brings us Hebrews chapter 12 will look at the first three verses.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author that is the pioneer the leader and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sit down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart is not about beating those who've run this race before us is just that when we look back in Hebrews 11 we should be inspired by them that they ran the race that they finish strong. In verse one it says this great cloud of witnesses, that there pictured like bystanders on the sidelines cheering for us now. Don't know if they can see us from heaven, but it will be shocked if they don't know what's going on. If nothing else, Jesus can tell this was going on down there is soon to be praying for, but not thereof in heaven cheering for us to to to to do well to finish strong. I will be 67 years in June and I'm approaching my finish line.

I can tell you right now I want to bluff luster that tape in a full sprint, so if you want to run this race like me is what we needed to. We must go into strict training, we must run with singleness of purpose. We must fight like men, we must be nobody to make it my slave, so that we will not be disqualified from the process. We do this with the right of Hebrews gives us three commands and they all begin with two words. Let us first, let us throw off any weight or encumbrance in any sand that is entangled us in running this race we must lay aside any and everything that is holding us back, weighing us down diverting our tensions and by the way, this is a command does not suggest this command is in the is in the imperative tenets in encumbrance is simply a bulk or mass of something that your catalog is not necessarily anything bad. If not, it may be something good, but you spend too much time doing it. I spent too much time working are you spending too much time playing golf or spending too much time exercising.

I spent too much time watching TV on, give discharge there that knows me right between the two of we spent too much time do anything that has no eternal life. So if you really want to run this race unencumbered and get rid of these things now do we need to get rid of these unnecessary ways, but we need to get rid of the sin that so easily entangles. Do you have dear Ross how easy it is to get entangled in sin what sin has you entangled as you sit her tonight is agreed in the anger hatred bitterness lust covetousness, cheating, lying, worry, fear, anxiety, Paul writes in Colossians 3 verses five through 10 put to death. Therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature, sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires.

Don't you find it interesting. The first four had to do with lost sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed which is idolatry used to walk in these ways in the life you want to live but now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language from your lips will care language are using when you're not here.

Do not allow to each other since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge, in the image of its creator. So we need to throw off all those things that encumber us in the sand that so easily entangles second let us persevere all the way to the finish line. The Christian life requires endurance when the going gets tough the tough get going in the list when I say that I don't mean that you can just with your own physical strength. Pull up your bootstraps and be a better person. We are in a spiritual battle 24 seven and we have an enemy known as the devil, or Satan, who the Bible says like a roaring lion looking for someone to what devour and who to come in after the people in the wild road or the people in a narrow road.

The narrow road he sorry got the people a wide river skid and fat, dumb and happy. That's why since in the church is where the not only the truth becomes after those of us in the narrow road, so we need to be where we need to be alert. Here's the key to endurance. Don't lean on your own strength rely on the Holy Spirit who indwells every single believer. So if you are in Christ.

The Holy Spirit is in you and he's the one that gives you the power to resist Satan and to live a more holy life.

So, let us throw off everything that entangles let us persevere all the way to the finish line in third. That is always, always keep her eyes on who Jesus verse two says fix your eyes on. Jesus Jesus. Listen Jesus's responsibility what you place your trust in him is to perfect you to perfect me to mold us into the man that he created us to be men of God Stroman of God, and he noticed a little salt about endurance you say he endured supper like no one is ever suffered. He was skirt with a cat of nine tails. Basically they skin them alive. Then they put a crown of thorns on his head and they beat that crown with 2 inch thorns on his head repeatedly with rods and while these British soldiers were beating him over and over and over, getting pounded his head with a rod. They mocked him, they spit on him. Then they forced him to carry about a 40 pound crossbeam, but a heel to the top of a hill called Golgotha. They are, they took thick heavy iron nails are about 45 inches long and about 1/2 an inch thick. Can you imagine that and drove us into his wrist and his feet and he hung there for six agonizing hours and then he breathed his last. And just before he did that he said what it is finished what he do that for the joy set before him in the midst of horrific pain, like a mother giving birth to a baby. He was full of joy because you know why he did advise death. He looked in the tunnel of time he saw her sitting here, he seldom millions of people who would be in heaven because he went to the cross and paid the price for us he endured it for joy. In spite of all those prosperity preachers preach on television. The Christian life is not easy. In fact, it is very difficult having with the power of the Holy Spirit. We can run this race with endurance to win the prize. Living the Christian life going today is the best life is a supernatural life is a life worth living in. Listen in the EM we get to heaven we look back we going to say man it was all worth it all worth it and will realize that all life pass by in the blink of an eye.

So what can we expect to endure in this race, persecution, discipline and training, and even correction by heavenly father.

Look at verses four through 13 in your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood and you forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses US signs my son that you love that got say in my son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline and do not lose heart. When he reviewed she because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son endure hardship as discipline got a strenuous sons for what son is not disciplined by his father. If you're not discipline in every 100 undergoes discipline then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who discipline us and we respected them for how much more should we submit to the father of our spirits and live follows this with us for little while as a thought but God disciplines us for good or that we may share in his holiness, no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. O however you produce a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who been trained by it. Verse 12 therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees make level pass for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled but rather healed. As we learned from John's one verse 12. When a man believes in Jesus that is when he receives them into his heart. By faith, then and only then does that man become a true son of God, you think about that.

This also but also know this. It comes with a huge responsibility because you got son and when you did when you identify what Jesus and people begin to know that they will be watching you.

They take notice of you that you have a responsibility to uphold the family name. Do you not.

This is Comparable to an earthly son from a very prominent family. The father sits down with a son. He says son when you leave my house and going to the world you cure the family name. So I expect you to live your life in a manner that brings honor to our name. Do you understand Lisa, he says sources earthly father begin a day. He teaches his son how to act in public.

He trains them up in the way he should live his life, even when no one is watching. And when that son messes up was the father to the punishes him say God deals with us in the same way that a good earthly father deals with this son only God is with us perfectly perfect discipline, perfect training, perfect correction. What is this discipline entail what's included were first as believers made what we got a train. It being a Christian requires incredible discipline. We must spend daily time in prayer and God's word and you don't find that difficult.

I find it difficult is a semi-distractions. What if God wants to pray and spend time in his work because he wants to show us how to live our lives, how to act, we must train. We must discipline ourselves.

Secondly, we should expect God to punish us to correct. As we get out of line that this part can be very painful. God's corrective actions can be quite severe. If a Christian man, Christian man, if he has an obvious sin is life, he fails to repent rebuttal lookout is God is going to deal with him and God's rod of correction can take the form of physical suffering such as sickness, it can come in the form of financial trials, it can come in before then anxiety and fear, and even depression of egregious sins can bring about extreme guilt and shame, but I would argue that that guilt and shame of God's pruning shears.

He's trying to move you toward repentance so that you turn away from that and you discover life again your fellowship with God is your solicitor you can never lose relation with God. It didn't matter what you doing, but you can lose your fellowship and if a Christian is living in sin. The Bible says gardening hear your prayers to show that is insolvent or which one.

If you have chairs sin in your heart, the Lord will not hear from you until you do what confess it, in repent, which means what turn away from it flickers 16 says being confident of this, that he who began a good work and you will carried on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. This should be encouraging to you and me is what you say Jesus, especially saying I'm going to the work up again and you I'm going to make sure that it's completed. No matter what.

I have a duty. This was to be encouraging. If you belong to God that he has your best interest and he loves you and he what he wants us man. He wants us to experience joy and peace and contentment in the end, listen, the most unhappy person on the face. The planet is a Christian is living in sin, a greater sin. Jesus said what the truth will set you free. You gotta bring it out into the light and let God deal with it. Say God will should have peace and joy.

He wants us to live an abundant life. It just means that you have peace and joy.

You know that he's with you no matter what you go through. He's going to look out for you. He's going to guide you and he's going to transform you he he created to be a certain man and he will truck full personnel to be engaged to how we do win his house to look at verse 14. Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy without holiness no one will see the Lord less interesting secret that no one fall short of the grace of God and that no Bitterroot gross of the cause trouble and defile many see that no one is sexually immoral or's godless like a cell before a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son afterward.

As you know we want to inherit this blessing. He was rejected he could bring about no change of of mind that is, he could not repent that he saw the blessing with tears. He just didn't have a heart of repentance else's problem. He was remorseful. Remorse is made, you said you got called you to be repentant when you repented you hate your sin so much as like vomit. You turn away from you never want to go back.

Verse 18 verse 18 to 21 is talk about Mount Sinai back when they had left Egypt, and God brought into Mount Sinai because most of the mountain and getting the 10 Commandments, but he made a committee signal that anybody come near the mountain or touch it or they will what.not even animals they will die.

What could they come to the mountain. They want holy Sears. Don't you understand that for read this verse 18 says you have not come to amount that can be touched this morning with far to darkness, gloom and storm to a trumpet blast or to such a bore speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken, and when they heard God speaking. They asked Moses week we we can't handle that. We woke up speaking to us because they could not bear what was commanded it, even an animal touches the mountain. You must be stoned to death. The site was so terrifying to Moses that he said I'm trembling with fear. That's what happens when you come to the presence of God.

If you aren't prepared and ready to look at this, but you adjust this when it says you is talking about the people a narrow road of the people the wide road the narrow road he's talking about true believers. People have been what born-again but you have come to Mount Zion to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly to the church of the firstborn that disseminates the universal church that we are part of in Christ whose names are written in heaven.

If you see if you're in Christ, your name is written in the last book of life you've come to God, the judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous, who been made perfect. That's what he does he makes is perfect, to Jesus see you come to Jesus who is the mediator of a new covenant into the sprinkled blood that is shed on the cross that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel to the sprinkle is without the shedding of blood there is no what forgiveness runs out in Hebrews 9 verse 27 Jesus shed his blood for us and so we come to him were forgiven.

See to it that you do not refuse him a speaks of God is speaking to you tonight for the first time, don't refuse him if they did not escape when they refused him to warn them on earth are they all died where in the desert as they they grumbled in the complaint, how much less will way if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven. At that time, his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised Melissa discuss. This is in our future once more I will shake not on the earth but also the heavens towards once more indicate the removing of what can be shaken, that is, created things, so that will cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since were receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful and so worship God acceptably with reverence and all for God is a consuming fire.

In the days of Moses, God should be earth literally Mount Sinai. That is why Moses trouble with fear and the data Jesus crucified God to the earth again. Darkness covered the area for three hours and then there was a violent earthquake and people were terrified. The Bible warns us man that just prior to the return of Christ. God is going to shake the whole earth is going to be.

I know a violent earthquake that was divide Jerusalem to jumbo down and people all of the world will be gripped with what fear we already for this day he could be. Verse nine got a personal battle plan to run this race so that I might disqualified Ashley so that when the price you'll hear what is does this give you about a plan to mock plan consist of six actions. I plan to live the rest of my life is holy as I can, by the power of the Holy Spirit who lives in me. Second option to live my life with a healthy fear of God.

This is not me that I come to God's presence with fear and trembling. I just have a reverent all of him.

I so respect him and his word that I will do nothing that displeases him up and always be involved in a bobsled like this one so that I can continue to grow in my faith and become stronger in my will with you Hiram.

I will remain committed to and involved in my local church which have to be discharged, community, church, and finally I will live a heavenly mindset know that this world is not my home know that one day I will have to stand before God and give an account of my life but I know this when I stand before him. There's no condemnation spouses in Romans that one. Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who Christ Jesus to this my battle plan. Do you have one if not develop one.

The spray heavenly father, thank you for your word.

Thank you Lord for teaching us. Thank you for what you doing in these the last of these men like you look for training us and correcting us in our progenitor file that you would bless them as I go to the small groups and Lord help us just to keep growing in our relation with you and Lord put away the things that you don't want our lives so that when you look at to see the image of yourself is going to write.

Being a Christian is not about being religious but about having a dynamic alive relationship with Jesus Christ. You've been listening to finding purpose with pastor Russ Sanders local triangle ministry glorifying God by helping men and their purpose for living. You can discover more about finding your purpose in life by checking out the will connect to finding purpose on Facebook pastor Russ would also like to extend a special invitation for you to join him in over 300 other local tribal men study God's word together every Tuesday night at 7 PM in downtown Raleigh. Find out more finding This is the Truth Network

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