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January 21, 2022 7:00 am
Greetings friends and new listeners and welcome to the sound of faith. This is Sharon not thanking you for tuning in today because we know faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. I preach today's message pilgrims and strangers have been on the horizon, the Sunday after my precious daddy RG Hardy went to glory, to be with our Lord one.
August 28 just shy of his 91st birthday.
Like the elders of Hebrews 11 space Hall of Fame. By faith he obtained a good report in pilgrims and strangers heaven on the horizon.
Glory to God. As you know, my father went home to be with the Lord. Friday 828.
His favorite verse Romans 828 amen and he departed on 828 to be with the Lord. So let's begin this morning in the 11th chapter of Hebrews. Let's look at verses one and two. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen for by it the elders obtained a good report. We know this verse.
Well, everyone loves this is probably the verse about faith. And this entire chapter 11 of Hebrews is what is known as faith Hall of Fame and one after another, God allowed the writer Paul beginning with faithful righteous able to make a list of the worthies in faith Hall of Fame in the Old Testament now. Naturally, he didn't name every one of them buddy highlighted many of the ones that might be the greater luminaries we might say he grooved them altogether in this word by it the elders.
The elders obtained a good report, and you know the word elders in the Greek is press. Butera's and we bring it into the English as Presbytery and we think of. It's the clergy it's the ministry.
Amen. And the Greek word actually means someone could be elder in age, a senior citizen or it could mean that they are higher in rank and I say this without hesitation that I believe that my dad was both of these. I know it was elder at age 90.
In fact, his 91st birthday would've been this week so definitely he was elder and the fact is, he outlived most of his church. Except for the new generation.
It's come in within the last 24 years. Even some of them is outlived.
And I would have to say that the Lord put him in an office that is was a great esteem and a great honor and so by faith. The elders like my dad and many other renowned men and women that we have seen in our lifetime. They obtained a good report, and that means to give evidence to to bear record to have an honorable testimony of a life well lived. My dad's life is a good report. Amen. Any leaves us with the rich legacy of both faith and faithfulness which is inspired all of us and will continue to do so.
Amen. Let's drop down the verse eight by faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed, and he went out, not knowing whither he went or where he was going and so by faith he still joined in the land of promise as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise for. He looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Abraham he's called by Paul in chapter 4 of Romans. He is called the father of the faith and we are told in Romans 412 that we are to follow in his footsteps. The footsteps of faith. And that's exactly what my dad brother Hardy did you all know he loved Abraham and he loved to preach about Abraham and the tell us we need Abraham's kind of faith. Amen. The story of Abraham. It was a great inspiration to him and probably his favorite Old Testament character was Abraham because now Abraham began his journey of faith in the city of Ur of counties and that was a very significant city.
In fact, it was the capital city of over 100,000 residents. So therefore they had all the amenities that we would expect for that time, they would had great museums and libraries and arenas for amusements and entertainment and educational places. But God told Abraham, you've got to leave this place. Now today, if you're wondering where that is, they would be at located in modern Iraq and so he started off on the journey and altogether from the counties to get to Canaan land was over 1500 miles and really it was probably a lot more than that because the 1500 miles is measuring by straight lines so another words he went from her to her ran and ran to another place to another place and how many know when you travel, you rarely get to go into a straight line.
You know you want to go back there but the interstate is here and then here and then here and then here and then back there and so it was well over 1500 miles that they had to travel and they would've done this on foot and with camels and probably donkeys. Amen. So they would've had to stop many many times along the way and set up camp and they camp it says tabernacles, but the word means tense so they were always stopping and putting up their tent and then taking down their tent and moving on any it would had been a very harsh arguers trek the wilderness places and arid lands, so it was Abraham and his wife Sarah and it was his nephew Lot and his wife and children and many servants that he had because Abraham had a lot of cattle and if you have a lot of cattle.
You have to have people attended them and you heard them. And Abraham also had men for protection when you go traveling like that. There were a lot of bandits waiting to rob people along the way and so he had men that were trained to help protect everyone. Several hundred because we know that when he went after lot when he was eased in Sodom that Abraham took 380 men with them and you know men have women and many women have children, so there were a lot of people in that caravan and so they were traveling.
It would've been a great caravan of faith because why he didn't know where he was going, and God was sending him and telling him leave everything that is familiar to you, your home, the place where you have been your entire life and I want you to go when the word says he's so Jordan and the words so Jordan is kinda archaic, but what it basically means is you're a foreigner in a strange country and it means you're passing through. You're not going to stay there and so they would take their tent and put it up and stay for a while and they would take it down and move on to the next place. Now the very first stop that they went to was her Ron and it was 600 miles to get there.
Now I'm not saying they didn't stop overnight here and there along the way are a couple of nights. But when they got to her Ron. They actually settled down a little bit. His father Gerard died there now.
Maybe he was sick and they had to stop. We don't know the details, but they stopped in her Ron and while they were there Abraham's father died in the Bible tells us in Joshua and other places in Genesis that terror was an idol worshiper, so he worshiped the goddess of the earth counties and idol worshiper. However, I did a little research and I found in the Jewish writings of the midrash, the Jewish writings tell us that Herat was not only an idol worshiper, but he was an idol manufacturer and seller and he had his own store work.
People came and bought his idols and there is a story in the midrash that says that one time that Herat had to leave and so he left Abraham, his son in charge of the store to sell the idols. But when the people came to purchase their idols. Abraham talked them out of it and he told them why you want to buy these idols and worship them. My father just made him today. Why do you want to worship something that my father made with hands, and so he would convince them not to buy, so he didn't sell any that day and he went another step further. He token acts and he destroyed every idol in that store, except for one he spared the largest one and he took the acts and he put it in the hands of that idol and when daddy come home and said what happened here.
Did you destroy these idols what happened. Abraham said well this idol destroyed all the rest of the idols because they were having a fight because one of the worshipers came and brought an offering and they were all fighting over who should get the operating idol destroyed all the other idols and his father said such a thing. Is it possible, and then he realized that he had just admitted that the idols were powerless. Amen. So this is the kind of man that God chose when he chose Abraham.
So Abraham and Sarah journeyed on towards the land of Canaan, just like God instructed. Now with his father gone the very last time to his homeland was born and he was pressing forward on this journey to the new land where God said I will show you what we read. We read that it said he looked for a city whose builder and maker was God that had foundations, whose builder and maker was God now that doesn't sound to me like an earthly city. Do you think I made it doesn't sound like any city that I know I'm on planet Earth, that the foundations thereof in builder and maker is God. So that means that the city he was looking for the words builder and maker means a designer and architect and the designer and architect of the city that Abraham and Sarah were looking for was not an earthly king and was not a human architect. Let's look at verse 11 through faith also Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered a child when she was past age that age 90.
In fact, because she judged him faithful who had promised therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sandwiches by the sea shore innumerable. You know the story well.
Abraham was 100 and she was 90, and that's what it means when it sprang out of his loins and spraying out of her womb as one who was dead really productively speaking they were dead. Amen.
But God brought forth the child of promise and said through this seed, you will have seed that will be so numerous, innumerable like the stars in heaven and like the sands on the seashore. In fact, when Abraham was kind of struggling in that journey of faith. One time God brought them outside and said look at the stars.
Can you count them, Abraham, can you count them because that's what your seed will be verse 13 these all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them of far off, and were persuaded of them and embrace them and con fast that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
They died in faith, not having received the promise. So him saying what you're telling me they did not receive the promise. We just they had their son a promise. They had Isaac when she was 90 and he was 100 they had promised child and you're saying, and yet they did not receive the promise. But they saw in a far off yes because they had another promise in mind, they had another city in mind. They had the city whose builder and maker is God and ask something, and their confession was, they declare we are strangers and pilgrims were on our way and but were not looking at the Canaan land only because you were nothing but strangers and pilgrims. Now the word stranger. The Greek words may not means to be a foreigner means to be an alien in a land that's not one's own, and the word pilgrim means to be a temporary so Joyner, a foreigner passing through was strange land and living amongst its natives now are you ready for the New Testament metaphor Christians are pilgrims and strangers.
We are passing through this earthly land and we are living amongst its people, but we are not natives of this land. Amen.
Because birthplace is in heaven. We been born from above. Amen.
We've been barred from this world is not our home, and that's why we feel comfortable here. We can observe this world and its worldly people.
Amen. No, because we are just pilgrims here and strangers here. That's why my dad always use this thing.
A lot of times that it is sermon with my heavenly home is bright light on on earth. I'm just traveling through, child of eternity.
Right now I'm caught, I'm stuck in this thing called time but time is only relegated to this earth. Amen. But I'm a child of eternity is longing to go back to its place. Hold Your Pl. in Hebrews and I quickly turned to Ephesians chapter 2 in and look at a couple of verses there.
Ephesians 2 in verse 11 wherefore remember that you in times past being Gentiles. Remember, a Gentile, is anyone that's not a Jew, no matter what your ethnicity, your color, your race, it doesn't matter if you're not a Jew you're a Gentile Gentiles in the flesh who are called on circumcision by that which is called circumcision in the flesh made by hands that simply means it's just reiterating the same point uncircumcised were Gentiles.
They did not practice circumcision in that ancient world.
Only the Jews did, so if you're uncircumcised or a Gentile. You're not a Jew if you're circumcising you were a Jew so how many understand that that that time you were without Christ being one aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and what strangers had been and without God in the world. But now somebody say but now in Christ Jesus you who were sometimes dropped out of verse 19. Now you are in strangers and foreigners, but with thanks and of the household of God.
I used to be a stranger. I used to be an alien from the household of God in the commonwealth of Israel, because Jesus came to his own. He came to the house of Israel.
Amen. But Paul if you read the whole chapter you know he's going to tell you but something happened upon that cross. Something happened on that cross. Amen. Because on all he brought down the middle wall between Jew and Gentile, and made us both one in the body of Christ in the household of God. Amen. And I have been born again and now I'm a citizen of heaven, and therefore it makes me pilgrim met a stranger in another sense. Now it's in the sense that I'm not a part of this world. Part of this like Abraham and Sarah so you're looking for a city to city whose builder and maker is God. Let's go back to Hebrews verse 14 for they say such things declare plainly that they seek a country they that say what things what we read previously in verse 13 they confess we are strangers and pilgrims notice it doesn't say we are strangers and pilgrims in the land of Canaan says on the earth. Amen. And because they said that then were told in verse 14 that plainly explains to us that they're not talking about an earthly country they're not talking about an earthly city. Amen. Because they said we are strangers and pilgrims on the earth, and they're looking for another country. Now the word country and Greek trees PA TR ES and we bring it into the English is patriotic and that means to be devoted to your country.
You're a patriot, it means in Greek one's fatherland, and that means it's the place of your birth. How many in the natural here today were born in the United States.
Okay, I punch and asked that the other way anybody here not born in the United States okay every body is born in the United States.
So this is your native land and the land of your birth, but now were going to go take it where Abraham and Sarah are amen see it says those you say, pilgrim Anna stranger on the earth there plainly saying that I'm looking for a certain country what you mean they're looking for a country, and the place of their birth because remember the word country there means fatherland place of your birth. What a place of their birth there land of Cal D the place of their birth in their native land. Did they not leaving so they did so why would they be looking to go back to it does look at verse 15 and truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out they might've had an opportunity to have returned so they were looking to go back they were looking to go back to the Chaldees. They were looking to go back to the place of their birth because they were had they gotten home sick. They wanted to turn around and go back they could have just turned around and went back. But now they said were looking for a particular country looking for a particular city whose builder and maker is God. They were not looking to go back.
In fact, later on. Remember when it was time for Isaac to have a wife and we know that Abraham told his servant Eliezer. He said I want you to go back home to where I am from and where Sarah is from and from our family & a wife for Isaac and bring her. He didn't want Isaac to marry any of the heathen in the pagan around. He wanted him to go back to their own people and he told him he said go back and find a wife for Isaac. He really trusted that guy did me. He said however if you are not able to convince or persuade a young maid to come with you to marry my son Isaac.
Do not ever ever let him go back to the land where God called me out of any told him it twice in Genesis twice. He said you have to swear to me now you have to promise me that if you don't bring a wife home for Isaac later on after I'm gone.
Do not allow Isaac to go back to my home. Maybe he thought if Isaac went back there, possibly to visit relatives or find himself a wife that he might've settled down and stayed there. He said God called me out of that land, and I don't want my son to ever go back there. Amen. I hope you are inspired by this heartwarming Harold pilgrims and strangers heaven on the horizon. On August 28. My dad, RG Hardy, went to be with the Lord six days before his 91st birthday. The following Sunday I was in the pulpit, preaching this soulful sermon missing my dad but rejoicing in his long-awaited home-going.
He loved to preach on Abraham and Sarah.
He wrote a book Abraham's kind of faith that chronicled their journey from Earth Chaldees and modern Iraq to Canaan in modern Israel. Hebrews 11 fates Hall of Fame reveals that they were looking for a city with foundations, whose architect and builder was God.
This does not describe any city on earth. It certainly was not the city of their birth or they could have returned, nor was it Canaan. While a beautiful place flowing with milk and honey in lush resources.
It was not built by God. We are plainly told that they look for a better country, a heavenly country. Thus, their confession was. We are pilgrims and strangers on the earth. Likewise, apostle Paul said, for our citizenship is in heaven. The past few years. My dad was longing for heaven, and if you are a citizen of heaven. You are to pilgrims and strangers heaven on the horizon can be ordered on CD for a love gift of $10 or more for our radio ministry request SK 215 mailto sound of faith PO Box 1744, Baltimore, MD 21203 if you order by mail. We will include brother Hardy's book Abraham's kind of faith. This offer is only good for mail in orders. Send your minimum love gift of $10 to PO Box 1744, Baltimore, MD 21203. You can also view brother Hardy's beautiful home-going service, including my eulogy on you to sound of Faith ministries that's a www.YouTube sound of faith ministries.
Till next time. This is shower not saying