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Champions of Faith

Power Point / Jack Graham
The Truth Network Radio
December 9, 2021 7:00 am

Champions of Faith

Power Point / Jack Graham

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December 9, 2021 7:00 am

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Welcome to this edition of PowerPoint with Jack Graham.

A little later in the program, we'll tell you how you can get the best of 2021 message series. The first, here's Dr. Graham's message, the champions of faith. Take your Bibles, turn with me to the book of Hebrews chapter 11. As believers, we face challenges and difficulties in our lives and many are tempted to give up because faith is difficult. Faith is hard.

Sometimes it's hard to believe. And so we need a faith that is founded on a future that is secure and trust in a God. We often say, well, Lord, give me greater faith. And I pray that. The disciples prayed that. Lord, increase our faith. I pray that prayer often.

Lord, increase my faith. But remember, it's not the size of your faith that matters most, but the size of your God. And we have a great God who responds when we come to Him in faith. And as we move through Hebrews chapter 11, it is a veritable hall of heroes.

It's been called the hall of fame, God's hall of fame or the hall of faith. I'm calling this message the champions of faith because we're going to meet individuals who live their lives by faith. The recurrent theme of chapter 11 of Hebrews is by faith, by faith, by faith, by faith. Each one of these men and women lived their lives, faced challenges in their lives and overcame by faith. And therefore, they received a great reward because God is the rewarder of them who diligently seek Him. And so what was true of yesteryear, those believers way back, it is true for us today. As a matter of fact, I've always loved the stories of the Old Testament. My grandfather used to read them to me when I was a little bitty boy and I just reveled in those great stories, adventures of faith in the Old Testament believers and of course the story of Jesus. But the Old Testament is exciting because these Old Testament heroes, this hall of heroes and many others who are not listed here are an encouragement to us. They're like a cloud of witnesses, Hebrews 12 one, who having run their race or competed and finished the course, they're now in the stands, the heavenly stands and they're cheering us on because their lives propel us and our own faith.

It's a pattern. Now, remember the Christian life is not a short run. It's not a sprint. It is a marathon and a marathon with obstacles.

And therefore you need to be prepared long distances. Sometimes we look at these great Old Testament personalities and we think, these are super saints, superstars. I'm not in their category. Well, frankly, every one of the men and women that we meet here in the Bible, Hebrews chapter 11, they were very ordinary people who lived extraordinary lives by faith. What sets them apart, what sets us apart is our faith. Now, what is faith? Well, I should say at the outset, you know, the faith that cannot be tested is a faith that can't be trusted. So expect your faith to be tested, but faith is entrusting your life to God through Jesus Christ. And when you have that kind of faith, you trust God regardless of the circumstances and regardless of the consequences. So let's take a look today at three of these great champions in Hebrews chapter 11.

It's a trio of trust, if you will. And these three men of faith offer us a powerful testimony today. The first one is named Abel.

You no doubt have heard the story. Many people, most people who don't even know much about the Bible know about the story of Cain and Abel, two brothers, the sons of Adam and Eve. And verse 4 says, by faith, Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain through which he was commended as righteous, righteous Abel, God commending him by accepting his gifts.

And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks by faith. Now we can do all kinds of mental gymnastics as to why God may have accepted the offering of Abel and rejected the offering of Cain. The story is told in Genesis chapter 4, if you want to read about it later. But the basic story is that these two men came with offerings to God. No doubt they had been taught by their parents, Adam and Eve, of the need to bring a sacrifice, an offering to the Lord for the forgiveness of sins. And so Abel brought a sacrifice, the first of his flock. Again, the principle of bringing my best to the Lord.

And you can preach about that all day long. He brought the first and the best of the Lord, a more excellent sacrifice. And Cain brought the fruit of the ground, vegetables. And you could make this case that, well, one brought a really good sacrifice, one just a plain ordinary sacrifice.

But that's really not the point. The point, the contrast between the sacrifice of Abel, which pleased God, and that's the goal, isn't it? To please God. God is the rewarder of those who diligently seek him. And therefore to please God, faith pleases God as compared to the offering that was accepted because Abel pleased God and rejected because Cain did not please God.

It's a very simple reason. One, Abel, brought his gift by faith and the other, Cain, did not. Now Abel brought an animal as a sacrifice. And therefore, perhaps taught by his own father, his own mother about the sacrifice for sin, even in the Garden of Eden. At the very beginning of time when Adam and Eve sinned against God, they brought a sacrifice. They slew an animal and covered themselves with the skins of those animals and the blood spilled in the garden. And this scarlet thread of redemption, this red redemption river begins to flow from the Garden of Eden throughout scripture because all of the Bible bleeds.

It's all about the blood and the sacrifice that is made, that is pleasing to God. And so they'd learned that lesson and so Abel brought this lamb. We don't know if it was a lamb, it was an animal. I believe it was a lamb because it is a prophecy. It is a precursor of the lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, who takes away the sin of the world.

All of the Old Testament sacrifices beginning with Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel and all the rest through the Old Testament portraits, pictures of the sacrifice, the ultimate sacrifice, the better sacrifice, as Hebrews has told us, of Christ who died on the cross for our sins. There are two kinds of religion in the world. You say, no, there are many kinds of religion. No, there are just two kinds of religion, true religion and false religion.

What is true and what is not true. And false religion is any religion that commends ourselves to God. False religion is all the religion that says, if I bring the works of my hand... You see, that's what Cain did. Cain brought the fruit of his labor, the work of his hands, and thought it was good enough somehow for God. It's this powerful portrait, it's this picture of one who brought a blood sacrifice and the other in obedience to God, in faith in God, and another who came without faith and just handed over some vegetables from his garden.

True religion and false religion. The Bible talks about the way of Cain, the way of Cain, which is the way of death. The first murder happened shortly after this experience. Cain was somehow enraged by this event or something else, and he killed his own brother. And Abel became a martyr in effect because the Bible says Abel's blood flows from the ground, cries out from the ground. When it says that by faith Abel still speaks, his blood is speaking to us today because his blood speaks of a greater blood. The blood sacrifice of Christ. I'm calling the faith of Abel Christian faith. What was this faith? Christian faith. You say, how were Old Testament believers saved? By looking forward to the coming of Christ, to the cross of Christ, believing in the one who was to come. We're saved by looking back and believing in the one who has come. But all are saved by faith through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. So Abel by faith offered this sacrifice that was accepted by God because he gave it with genuine faith. Jesus said, those who worship me worship me in spirit and in truth.

So you can give all your money. You can bring all your offerings. You can do many good deeds. You can attend church 10,000 times. You can do all of these things, but unless your faith is in the Lord Jesus Christ, you're on the way of Cain and not the way of Christ, which is the way of the cross. You come to the cross and the cross, civilizing the death and the burial of the resurrection, is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Abel still speaks today.

And what is he saying? The gospel. The gospel. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life. And no one comes to the Father except by me. That's why I say there's true religion and false religion.

It's either the way of Cain or the way of Christ. And if Jesus is not the only way to heaven, He's none of the ways to heaven because He claimed to be the way, the truth, the life. And if you want to come to God, the Father, you come through Jesus Christ. Peter declared this when he said there is no other name given among men whereby we must be saved. The name of Jesus. The saving, powerful name of Jesus. Do you want to be forgiven of your sins? Do you want to know that your life is pleasing to God?

By faith, come to Jesus Christ through His blood sacrifice for you. You're listening to PowerPoint with Jack Graham and today's message, the champions of faith. We hope you're enjoying today's message and we're excited to share that for a limited time, your gift to PowerPoint will be doubled up to $150,000 thanks to a generous matching grant to say thanks for your gift today.

We'll send you the most popular and encouraging messages from this past year together in one collection called the best of 2021. So call now to have your gift doubled by the match and request the best of 2021 as our thanks. Call 1-800-795-4627. That's 1-800-795-4627. You can also text the word PowerPoint to 313131.

Text PowerPoint to 313131. And don't forget to visit where you can shop our e-store, give a gift online or sign up for Dr. Graham's free daily email devotional. Our website again is Now let's get back to today's message, the champions of faith. Let's move to the second person we meet in God's hall of fame here and his name is Enoch. And his story is briefly told.

These are brief biographies. This one picks up from Genesis chapter five. By faith, Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death and he was not found because God had taken him. And now before he was taken, he was commended as having pleased God. And then it says that without faith it is impossible to please God.

So meet Enoch. And he is singled out as an example of faith because he walked with God. His was a continuing faith.

If Abel's faith was a Christian faith, that's how you get started by coming to Christ and pleasing God through the sacrifice of his son. That's how we worship God. That's how we connect with God. Then Enoch is how we walk with God. The Christian life is described in the Bible as a walk. It's like a journey and we're on our journey home to heaven. And as we go, we are walking with God.

It's a beautiful picture. Why walking? Because as Christians, we are followers of Jesus, right? That's what a Christian is. A believer is a follower of Jesus, not just faith and faith or faith in myself or faith in whatever, but faith in Jesus Christ. And if you are a believer, you're following Jesus.

If you're not following Jesus, you're not a believer. So it's a walk. And it begins and ends through and through by faith.

We see this long continuous walk. And as a matter of fact, when you turn to Genesis 5, it's an interesting passage. It's like a walk through a cemetery because we meet all the genealogies of the early people on earth, beginning with Adam and Eve. And it says, and Adam and Eve lived in so many years and they died. And then such and such, so and so was born and he died. And such and such was born and he died. And he was born and he died. He was born and he died. And he was born and he died. He died, he died, he died, he died. Rather depressing to read the fifth chapter.

It's a reminder that we all die. But right in the heart of that passage, it speaks of Enoch. When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah, a man who lived longer than any man on earth. Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters for 365 years. He was trekking with the Lord. He was walking with God.

Now, to walk with God means to walk with him as a friend, is to know him, to have a relationship with him. That's what happened to this man, Enoch. He started walking with God. There was a definitive moment in your life.

Now, did you see that? There came a time, he was 65 years old, but he was just getting started. Something happened in his life that brought him to faith.

And you know what it was? When he was 65 years old, Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah. The same thing happened to Enoch that happens to many of you who are holding your babies today. Many of us, when we held our children and we realized maybe you went to college, you sowed some wild oats, you came out, you never knew if you were going to go back to church again, you sort of abandoned your faith, but then that child came. God put a new life in your arms. You realize, I have a responsibility now. I'm going to grow up. I need a genuine faith.

I can't do this on my own. I'm married now. I've got a family now.

Many men in this room, you know it. You came to faith in Jesus Christ because you realize that God had given you a son or God had given you a daughter, and now you had the opportunity and the responsibility to set the pace for your children, for your family, to set the pace for your wife spiritually, to set the pace for your family. That's what happened to this man. And it was a moment in time. You see, you don't just kind of by osmosis kind of ease into the Christian life. No, there was a time, a place he began this walk with God. And he walked and he walked and he walked and there's an amazing miracle that takes place in Enoch's life. At the end of his days, the end of his walk, the scripture said he was taken into the presence of Jesus. In fact, in the book of Genesis 5, when it talks about it, it says, and he was not, that is people were looking for him because he was not.

Why? Because God took him. He didn't die. And that's affirmed here in Hebrews chapter 11, he was taken into the presence of God.

One day he was walking with God and he never came back to earth. For the Christian, death is going home. The rapture, when Jesus comes to take us home is going into the presence of the Lord. We walk right into heaven.

That's what Enoch did. This is a prediction and a prophecy of the day when Christ comes to take us. First Thessalonians chapter four, when the trumpet will sound and the dead in Christ shall rise first and then we who are alive and remain under the coming of the Lord will be caught up together with them in the air to meet the Lord in the air and so will we ever be with the Lord. We will be taken like Enoch translated, like Elijah translated into the presence of the Lord. We keep our eyes on the horizon and whether it is through the portals of death, the doorway of death or whether it is through the rapturous return of our Lord Jesus Christ, we are walking into the presence of the Lord. We're going somewhere. We're going to heaven.

There's one final man I'm going to mention briefly. His name is Noah and he represents a courageous faith. You know the story of Noah and the ark. And we're told in Hebrews 6 as we meet this man that by faith, verse 7, by faith Noah being warned of God concerning events yet unseen in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. And by this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. Remember, it's not self-righteousness. Abel taught us that, correct? Not self-righteous, not what I bring, but righteousness that is given by God through Christ. And then we begin walking with God.

We worship God, we walk with God, and then we start witnessing of our God. That's what Noah did in his generation, a very dark and depraved and degenerate generation, those days before the flood. A terrible time to try to walk with God.

In fact, when he got right down to it, there were only eight believers in the entire world and that was Noah's own family. Everybody was an unbeliever. It was immoral. It was vile. It was, according to the Scripture, it was overflowing with evil.

The minds of men were on evil only continually. It's a gross word used in the Hebrew, really. The overflowing of evil, it means the overflowing of a sewer. The overflowing of a toilet.

That's gross. And that's the generation in which Noah, by faith, built an ark. Oh, by the way, nobody even knew anything about rain.

It never rained before. They lived in a kind of umbrella, I don't know, Jurassic Park, I don't know, think that. But it was an unbelievable creation before the rain punctured everything and the judgment came. But Noah began to build this ark. And don't you know people thought he was totally insane crazy?

They did. They mocked him. That crazy old man down there building a boat, he says, unless you get on the boat, it's going to rain. There's going to be something called a flood.

We're all going under. Nobody believed. He preached. He witnessed for 120 years and didn't have one single common.

Nobody even believed. He kept saying, you better repent. He said, there's grace and you can get on this boat and you can be saved. You can walk up the plank of faith and get on the grace and you'll be saved. And after 120 years, God's mercy and judgments are long suffering.

His grace was available, accessible all those many, many years. And Noah preached and he preached and he preached. And one day something started coming out of the sky, a little bit at a time and a little more and a little more.

Never seen anything like this. And now it's raining. And then there's more rain and more rain.

And now it's flooding. And people realize too late that Noah was right. That a judgment was coming because the Bible says it is appointed and a man wants to die and then the judgment and the judgment was on. God has shut the door. God put Noah and his family in the ark. The only people they believe were the eight in Noah's family. God shut the door, it says.

He shut them in. The rain's falling. People are swimming to the ark. Noah! For God's sake, Noah, let us in.

Let us in. But it was too late. Grace was no more. And they all perished according to the Bible. Save Noah who lived by faith and preached by faith. And he is a testimony today and along with this powerful story that the only way to live in days of judgment, terrible days of depravity and degeneracy and violence and vileness that's in the world today, you know, our world's not as bad as Noah's world. I mean, it's pretty bad, but at least there are more believers than eight in our times. So I'm just telling you that I know it may be difficult to live for the Lord in times like these when so many are not, when so many don't believe your story, many do not believe your words, they don't believe in Christ, but by faith, you keep believing.

You keep trusting in God. You're listening to PowerPoint with Jack Graham and today's message, The Champions of Faith. As we prepare to step into our 28th year of ministry, generous partners like you are enabling PowerPoint to harness technology to take the gospel into closed countries and hard to reach regions and lives are being transformed by Christ. But in order to seize every opportunity God sends our way, your support is vital to ensure PowerPoint finishes this year on a strong financial footing. That's why we're excited to share that some generous friends have offered to double your gift this month up to $150,000.

To say thanks for your gift, we'll send you the best of 2021, a CD collection featuring 10 popular messages from this past year that will help you deepen your faith. So call now to have your gift doubled by the match and request the best gift the best of 2021 as our thanks. Call 1-800-795-4627. That's 1-800-795-4627. You can also text the word PowerPoint to 313131. That's PowerPoint to 313131. And don't forget to visit where you can shop our e-store, give a gift online or sign up for Dr. Graham's free daily email devotional.

Our website again is Pastor, what is your PowerPoint for today? Scott, you know, I truly believe that faith is a must have when walking daily with Christ. The Bible says without faith, it is impossible to please him for he who comes to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.

That's Hebrews 11 6. So ask yourself right now, do I worry about how I'm going to pay next month's bills or do I trust God's provision that he will take care of me? Do I stress out over difficult situations trying to work them out on my own only to fail again and again? Or do I have faith that God will work all things together for good and that my circumstances are always under his control when I give them to him? Do I rely on my own judgment and planning or do I trust in the Lord with all my heart, leaning not on my own understanding and acknowledging him in all my ways knowing that he will direct my path?

In other words, am I relying upon God to provide wisdom as I seek to make good decisions every day? True faith can only come through a personal relationship with Jesus and that faith relationship can only be deepened by spending time every day in the Word of God. And remember what I said earlier about what faith is like? It's like a muscle.

The more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes. It's not feelings or emotions but rather living trust. Remember that faith is believing that God will do what he says he will do just as he promised in his Word. God requires you to trust him. So please him today.

Honor him today with your faith. And that is today's PowerPoint. Remember when you give a gift to PowerPoint, your gift will be doubled and we'll send you the best of 2021.

Message series is our thanks. Call 1-800-795-4627. That's 1-800-795-4627. You can also text the word PowerPoint to 313131. Text PowerPoint to 313131. Well, next time Dr. Graham brings a message about what Jesus does for real racial reconciliation. That's next time on PowerPoint with Jack Graham. PowerPoint with Jack Graham is sponsored by PowerPoint Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-06 12:50:29 / 2023-05-06 13:00:31 / 10

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