This broadcaster has 257 podcast archives available on-demand.
Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.
April 14, 2021 7:00 pm
Dr. Steve Pettit continues the series entitled “Run the Race,” with a message titled “Final Warnings to Racerunners” from the book of Hebrews 12:15-17.
There are some significant elements in the book of Hebrews. This actually shrouded in mystery. It's a mysterious book phot what it has to say to us is not only clear, but the value for the Christian today is significant because it was written especially for those who are struggling with their faith and are on the brink of giving up and turning away the book of Hebrews was written for spiritual apathy and it is an antidote for those who are drifting so what is Hebrews do… Up the theological heights and then it hurls us down to practical depths. What we see is the privilege of being a Christian today and the fearful judgment of falling away if you walk away from Jesus Christ with all that is been given to you. Your judgment on the judgment day will be far greater than those who never had the privilege to hear the gospel today on The Daily Platform.
Dr. Steve Pettit, longtime evangelist and now president of Bob Jones University is continuing a study series entitled run the race, which is a study of the book of Hebrews chapter 12 let's now listen to today's message were God gives a final charge to the church to watch over the spiritual state of other believers.
While I have your Bibles this morning. I like you turn please to the book of Hebrews Hebrews chapter 12 we have been running a race this semester as we been working our way through the 12th chapter of the book of Hebrews.
We are coming to the close almost the close, actually the close of this section will still have a few more challenges from Hebrews 12, but this charge has been given to all of us as believers to finish strong and run the race and last week we were exhorted to follow the way of spiritual revival in our life. What are we to do to stay strong and so we had some commands last week to resolve to remove and to pursue the Lord. So as we come to the end of this section, he actually ends up this section with some more serious warnings is the idea of finishing well in guarding ourselves and the idea is that nobody runs this race alone. This is not a solo race.
This is a race that is being run with a great company of people I don't know if you're a fan of English soccer English football but one of the teams is Liverpool football club. They are ranked number one right now in the EPL and before every game they fill up their stadium at Anfield and they sing a song. It's called you'll never walk alone, was a popular song back in the day and it's their theme song they sing in the whole stadium sings it and it brings a great sense of unity and for us as believers, we never walk alone. So as we read this morning in Hebrews chapter 12 verse 15 he he tells us as believers to come beside one another and exhort one another and encourage one another.
One of the things I appreciate about Bob Jones is that we are a community of believers that you should never walk alone and that we should constantly encourage one another less look this morning.
In verse 15 where he says these words. Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you and thereby many be defiled, lest there be any fornicator or profane person is Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright for you know how that afterward he would've inherited the blessing he was rejected for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. The opening charge to all of us is the phrase looking diligently and the roots of the noun of that word that that that verb, looking diligently is the same word for an overseer or a bishop or pastor what he saying is this the pastor watches over the spiritual condition of his flock and in this case what he is saying is that you and I do not live individualistic independent lives of other people that that independent attitude is more of an American cultural aspect, but you and I are are members of the body, the church, and so therefore we should love each other enough to guard one another. That's the point he's trying to make in the book of Hebrews is filled with this kind of charge to us as believers. He says in Hebrews 313 but exhort one another daily, lest you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For Hebrews 41. He said let us therefore fear, lest a promising left of us of entering into the rest, any of you should seem to come short of it in Hebrews 1025 he says no forsake the assembling of ourselves together, is the manner of some is, but exhorting one another so as believers we should have an open door to exhort each other as we have relationships with one another, we should charge each other and we should look after each other.
In verses 15 through 717. Here he tells us what we are to guard against what we are to watch out for and there are actually three warnings he gives and that's my message this morning. He gives final warnings to the race runners in each morning begins with the word last and the idea here is pieces guard yourselves looking diligently lest these things come upon you, and so these are negative things and so this morning the message has that negative bent because that's the way he wrote this text and I want us to look at the things that he is warning all of us who were trying to run this race.
He is warning us about what is the first warning notice what he says. Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God warning here is to see to it that no man miss is getting God's grace in his life. That is, there is grace for the race. So what is grace well. Grace is God's favor, God's blessing to us, and specifically grace is God's divine enablement.
God gives you power is the supernatural ability to do that which you cannot naturally do by yourself. Do you feel weak. Do you feel like you can't do what you're supposed to do with. That's why you need grace, grace, set grace says I say I can't. Grace says I can and God gives grace. Grace is the image of a water pitcher that is filled to the brim. It's tilted and ready to be poured out, and God gives grace to those who are thirsty. We read in Hebrews that we can come boldly to a throne of grace to receive mercy and grace in time of need.
We have wheat week week. There's no reason why we should resist or not, get God's grace. One writer said it this way for daily. Neither Staley grace for sudden need their sudden grace for almost overwhelming need. There is overwhelming grace in the war warning here is that those who are running can fall short or come short of God's grace. So why, why would we come short of it.
One writer BF Wescott says it this way. He says see to it that you do not fall behind and not keeping pace with the movement of grace.
What he means by that is this God gives grace all the way. But we can lag behind.
We can begin to fall behind.
This is, like when you started your classes this semester. You got your syllabus in your syllabus. Sort of told you all the things that you are required to do and maybe you got really afraid that you couldn't keep up with it, but you sort of throw yourself into it and you started working through that syllabus, but as time went along and choices were made and perhaps you didn't manage your time wisely you found yourself getting behind how many of you feel, if you felt like you were getting behind the semester in so your studies. Yet, she reports. The idea here is that you can lag behind in getting Gracie. So how does that happen. How can I spiritually lag behind other number ways number one when you live with unconfessed sin.
The Bible says where sin abounds. Grace abounds more and so for every sin we commit.
There is grace there is forgiveness.
God is faithful and just to forgive those who confess their sins, but we live in, day after day without availing ourselves to God's forgiveness, then we are we are missing out on that grace. There is fresh cleansing and fresh empowerment skylight going three or four or five days without taking a bath is not that the bath not available, the shower not available when you don't take a shower everybody around you knows it and when you and I are not operating in grace. Everybody around us knows they can see it in your spirit in your attitude. We live with unconfessed sin. Secondly, we lag behind. When we neglect God's word asked 20 says that I can. God says, I commend you to God and the word of his grace, which is able to build you up. Grace is communicated through the Bible. The Bible is a supernatural book the Holy Spirit gives us the strength, the power to live the Christian life, but believers lag behind because they suffer from spiritual anorexia of the word.
They're not feeding on the word and the number three we begin to lag behind. When we are absent from the fellowship of the church.
Grace is experienced in the community of grace. That's why going to church is so important. Going to church is not a duty going to church is something that I depend upon. I need church. I need the people of God. You and I both know that when we come out of church.
There is a fresh empowerment from the spirit of the Lord. And so here's the warning. The warning is not to keep with the pace of grace are you living on God's grace today. You know what you can get in the flow here Bob Jones University and just sort of do Bob Jones University miss out on grace and you got grace available but you not availing yourself to the grace of God and so there's a warning here that don't go through the motions, and don't lag behind in getting God's grace, then there's a second warning that warning here is found in verse 15 when he says, lest any man fail the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up in trouble you and thereby many be defiled. What is the second warning the second warning is see to it that no one becomes negative it negatively influence by apostasy. Let me explain that the writer here is warning about a potential contaminant within the church we understand contamination and when things are contaminated, then we want to get rid of it and he's describing a contaminant contaminant thing that is within the framework of the church and one is that it is a person who is described as a root of bitterness, lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you and thereby many be defiled now this phrase root of bitterness is actually taken out of the Old Testament, it comes from a text in Deuteronomy 2918. Let me read it to you.
It says, lest there should be among you, man or woman. Our family of tri-or tribe, whose heart turns away this day from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations lest there be among you all root that bears gall and wormwood what is Moses saying he's warning about the noxious influence of those Jews who had turned away from following the Lord in the wilderness, and they began to worship idols, and the root of bitterness, then, is an individual because of various reasons have become better and rebellious against God, and they have turned away from the faith and there called a root that is something that is hidden. That comes out, it could be a man. It could be a woman. It could be a family. It could be a group or tribe and historically we have call these people apostates on apostate is one who is a defector from the faith, and one who is a district a distractor to the faithful and the question concerning these individuals is always where they say are they real Christians and of course some view the fact that they were once Christians, but they lost their faith.
Therefore, they lost their salvation.
Others have said they never were really say from the beginning, but in either case, the point is that they have a damaging influence on the church, he says, lest any man fail of the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up and trouble you and thereby many be to file the word trouble means to control.
They have a powerful influence of the atmosphere. The word contaminate as the idea of defiling people and their influence is troubling to the body of Christ. They affect and they hurt the church. Have you ever heard of a man in history called Julian the apostate.
Very interesting character. Julian was a Roman ruler who follow Constantine in 361 A.D. as a Roman Emperor when Constantine started his reign as an Emperor, he ended persecution against believers and he made Christianity the official religion of the state religion in the world and that day in A.D. 37 Constantine died in his kingdom fell to his three sons and immediately his sons decided to eliminate all the rivals and so they put to death their uncles and their cousins. However, two young boys survived one of them was a young boy named Julian and Julian grew up in exile in Turkey under house arrest.
He was later freed by his brother and he went to study in Constantinople and during his imprisonment or house arrest.
He had been abused by men who profess Christianity and so he rejected Christianity and he became a student of heathen philosophy and antagonistic to the teachings of Jesus. And so, in his early life he revealed an intense hatred for Christianity, but for political reasons. He basically he said what he really believed for over a decade and he acted like a professing Christian and when he became the Emperor at the age of 30 years old, he declared himself the public enemy of Christianity, and is the ruler Julian had two goals one to completely abolish Christianity and to to restore paganism and unlike the persecutors of the past that persecuted the church. Julian decided to do something the opposite. He basically feigned a demeanor of benevolence and he claimed that his philosophy mandated toleration of all faiths and so suddenly he sought to destroy the Christian faith through a number of moves number one. He encourage strife among those who professed allegiance to Christ.
There were some former bishops or pastors that were imprisoned and he let them out and when they came out.
He understood the maximum to divide is the way that you conquer any allow these Christians to have conflicts with one another and so he encourage the strife. Secondly, he prohibited Christian schools. One historian said the Christian schools were broken up and the children of Christians were denied.
All education except in the school of the idolaters. Julian knew that the church's future was with each youth. He thought that if he could deprive Christian families of educating their children, then he would hinder the spread of God of the gospel among the more educated those that became leaders and Christianity would be relegated to the ignorant masses.
And so in a controlled environment. He decided that he would corrupt the tender faith of those young Christians by putting them in schools of idolatry and heal. He was aware he knew understood that a cultured mind and the religion of Jesus were nonexclusive, but one can be a devoted to Christ and still be intellectually a respectable person and so we prohibited Christian schools and then thirdly, he attempted to have Christians removed from the place of public position and influence.
He wanted their voice to be stifled and silenced. He knew that biblical Christianity shaped laws and influence the enforcement of high moral standards because the foundation of the wall was grounded in the moral standard defined by God himself, and therefore he saw the silenced preachers by withdrawing from them certain communities that were under basically Constantine's influence, Julian was very astute and he knew enough about finances that they were a powerful factor in him and muffling the pulpits, for example, when moral issues became politicized preachers who address these issues were accused of drawing the church in the politics and soon veiled threats of the loss of financial immunities would become increasingly commonplace and so we silenced the preachers and then finally by the subversion of the law encourage violence against the devoted ease of the fate it was said that Julian would punish his heathen subjects he would rarely punish. It is heathen subjects in their acts of violence, but he took great pains to punish a Christian for the slightest offense, and what happened is he salt to destroy the faith and what's interesting.
It is a it's it's an odd thing that those who were at one time a part of the faith become persecutors of the faith, and so the point that Hebrews is saying is that we should watch out for those who are falling away from God and their negative influence on in the third and final final warning. He said this morning is to see to it that no one loses his soul over lost in godlessness, lest there be any fornicator or profane person, as Esau who was Esau. He is what we could call a graceless person want to miss the grace of God and became a negative influence. Esau was the firstborn son of Isaac and his brother was Jacob and the Bible condemns him as a fornicator and a profane man fornicator means he was immoral sexually and and he he was. He was considered a pornographic man.
Someone said Esau was a man subject to the whims of his tomcat nature the archetype of the 20th century testosterone man is a seat is essential.
Sensuality made God unreal to him as lust always does. And then he was called a profane man that simply means that he just live life without God. He had no concern for spiritual desires. He only wanted to feed his own appetites. Someone said this weight is. Esau was a living beer commercial. His whole focus was fun, food and females.
That's Esau, because he was enslaved to lots. He had virtually no concern about his spiritual privileges, you know, is a great blessing to grow up in a spiritual atmosphere in on the other hand, it is an incredible danger.
That's why everybody in this room is in a very dangerous position you are in a very, very, very dangerous position because you are surrounded by spiritual values and spiritual truth. My oldest son when he came to Bob Jones. He said that truth is everywhere.
Here, Bob Jones, if you wanted but if you are unregenerate or you are a professing Christian and you are worldly and you are living to fulfill your sensual appetites.
You are in a very dangerous position because it is enslavement to his own desires. He virtually had no real passion for his spiritual blessing. He was the firstborn son. He was in the line of the blessing of Abraham it covenant and though this included some material prosperity, it was primarily spiritual, he would be in the line of the coming Messiah, and the ultimate gospel message. However, these privileges were to be realized in the future. Most the time he just had to be faithful. He had to persevere in his faith, but that was not Esau in the time came when Esau's faith was put to the test, you know the story was out hunting all day and he comes in famished he wants some food in the ass fix me some food and basically his brother was smart enough to say I'll do it if you give me your birthright, your blessing is so we traded this tremendous spiritual blessing to satisfy his own appetites he want he traded off it for a bowl of beans are founder used to say in this way.
Never sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate everyone of you every one of us every one of us in this room are daily face with temptations where we can sacrifice the blessings of God for some some temporary pleasure, something that will satisfy my lust. Because here's the problem with the lost a promise she is you satisfaction and it always gives you emptiness and return is so Esau was viewed as a man who had no value in the permanent and what is the conclusion he afterwards realized he had made a mistake, but it was too late. He was rejected even though he Saul to receive his blessings back through repentance in tears. He had crossed a line in it gone too far. This spiritual heritage that you have received the privileges that you have can be squandered and you can become a shipwreck, you can give up and sell your blessings on the altar of the immediate own immorality and worldliness in the end you sell your own soul, and so Hebrews is one of those books that is said in the beginning it's got a wow factor because it's unbelievable. Who Christ is and then it has a very serious woke factor will and will be on the everyone of you sitting here than this building and I'm including myself in this woe to any of us who would turn away from God to live a life that satisfies your own lust. Woe be to any of us and I pray for you. I'm very concerned for some of you. I'm concerned that some of you are lost.
Some of you that really have no spiritual desires. It all and I'm very concerned that some of you are flirting with the world you're trying to swim in the waters that God never intended for you to swim in, and I pray that you will come back and you will run with patience the race that is set before his father, we thank you for your word. God I pray for the power of the Lord and grace terrain upon all of us.
Help us to be faithful as we follow you in Jesus name, amen.
You been listening to a sermon from Hebrews 12 by Dr. Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University. For more information on Dr. Pettit series visitor website. The Daily Platform.com where you can get a copy of Steve study booklet entitled run the race. The Kindle version is also available. I'm Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University and I invite you to join us at our beautiful campus and Bill South Carolina to see how you can be prepared academically and spiritually to serve the Lord through one of our more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. For more information about Bob Jones University, visit www.btu.edu or call 800-252-6363 please daily programs are made possible the many friends of Bob Jones University and this radio ministry if you appreciate these programs and benefit from the faithful preaching and teaching of God's word would you consider sending us a special financial gift today. You can easily do that through the website. The Daily Platform.com and then click on the give button on the homepage. Thanks again for listening. Join us again tomorrow as we study God's word together on The Daily Platform