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April 15, 2021 7:00 pm
Dr. Steve Pettit continues the series entitled “Run the Race,” with a message titled “Two Mountains” from the book of Hebrews 12:18-24.
There are some significant elements in the book of Hebrews.
This actually shrouded in mystery. It's a mysterious book by 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 in 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 must not listen to today's message or Steve will show us to mountains that are mentioned in Hebrews 1218 through 24. Well, would you take your Bibles and turn with me please the book of Hebrews chapter 12 as of again it came to my attention over the last week that I'd made a statement in a message a few weeks back that I would like to correct and clarify. It was a message concerning God's chastening and I dealt with how we can have a negative response that chastening which we can despise it and we can fainting the idea faint is losing your heart and that in the statement. I said that fear was a cause for depression and anxiety and I want to make it very clear that that fear can be a cause of anxiety and depression but obviously it's not the only calls for that. There are many many reasons why we can be depressed, and so on that. To be clear, because I don't want to overburden you as an individual with a sense of guilt for something that that you take upon yourself that is unnecessary for most of us, we have to live our lives in such a way that we struggle we go through all kinds of issues and it's a part of our humanity. I'm cute. Our humanity, our fallenness are proclivities and so the Lord gives us in the word that the way that we overcome those things are really by understanding who he is and what he's doing in our life and that God loves us and that whatever things were having to endure. It is a part of his process of changing us and strengthening us in so that we find strength and encouragement, especially within the framework of our mind and our motions through God's love his renewing power of love. So I just want to make that very clear in case there was some misunderstanding. So this morning were going to read in Hebrews chapter 12 verses 18 to 24. This is not in your book study, but it is really the conclusion of the idea of running the race and so I wanted to set this before you, and it can become a part of the life groups that will be meet meeting tomorrow, so I hope that you listen carefully as we look at this passage of Scripture.
Let me begin reading in verse 18 and the IDF you want to see the outline of it is actually in a statement where it says for you or not, but you have come to so will see that as we read verse 18, for you are not coming to the mall that might be touched and that burned with fire, nor in the blackness and darkness and Tempest, and the sound of a trumpet in the voice of words which voice that they that heard and treated, that the word should not be spoken to them anymore, for they could not endure that which was commanded in it so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned or thrust through with the dark and so terrible was the site that Moses said I exceedingly fear and quake which you are calm under mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God of the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels to the general assembly in the church of the firstborn which are written in heaven, and to God, the judge of all into the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel, the writer of Hebrews here has just Lord bless you and the writer of Hebrews here has just finished a warning to runners to not miss God's grace for the race. So what's the theme things run the race we missing it all semester and there is grace that God gives for the race were going to go through endurance. That's part of our training and God says get in the race stay in the race. He warns us, and now he concludes with the ultimate focus of the race and that's the finish line that is what is the final destination of the race and to enhance his explanation of this destination. The author uses what he has been emphasizing throughout the entire letter and that is he's made a contrast between the old covenant and the new covenant between the law and the gospel between Jesus and Moses between one that is superior and the other that is inferior in here we come to the final contrast and that is the contrast between two mountains, one is called Mount Sinai where the law was given and the other one which is mount Zion where grace is manifested and in his use of his logic and I mention his logic is called a fortiori that is arguing from the lesser to the greater he makes in this point this morning. The extreme of the of that logic and that is between an extreme negative and an extreme positive and so here is the contrast, if the circumstances surrounding the giving of the law on Mount Sinai was so dreadful that it produced a terrifying fear of God and Moses then how much more awesome is the gospel of grace that gives us access to mount Zion where we will live in the presence of God with joy for ever. We had the extreme negative with an extreme positive and so we, as believers, he is saying are running this race and were not running the Mount Sinai. We are running to mount Zion and he uses the phrase twice that you have, and that word is in the perfect tense you describe something that is already occurred in the past you've come to mount Zion. In other words, as a believer it is our final destiny. We are running towards that city or door to that mountain and this is what is impacting you now as you run, you know where you're running to you know what the destiny is so this morning.
Let's take a few moments to look at the incredible description of these two mountains and what should be the ultimate motivation and running the race.
So let's begin with the first mountain Mount Sinai that's found in verses 18 through 21.
Mount Sinai was the place where the Israelites through Moses received the law of God, the Israelites were guided to this location by God. When they came out of Egypt and I want you to know the atmosphere surrounding the Israelites encounter with God. It Mount Sinai. I'd like to go back and reread the verses in this time I'll read out of the English standard version. Notice what it says, for you have not come to what may be touched by blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest, and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words may be hearers bag that no further messages be spoken to them, for they could not endure the order that was given. If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, I tremble with fear.
So let's try to get a sense of this Israelites have come to the base of Mount Sinai there commanded by God to consecrate themselves for the next three days that included things like washing their clothes and abstaining from sexual relations. On the morning of the third day they come to the mountain, but they are forbidden to touch the mountain and if they did touch it. They would die. You could call this Mountain Dew and all that morning is the Israelites see the mountain they are costed with a thick, dark, forbidding cloud that covers the entire top of the mountain. Suddenly, numerous lightning bolts streaked down from the heaven accompanied with blunt thunderclap so loud that it literally shakes their souls as the people approach the mountain the ground underneath them shakes with seismic tremors and from the top of Mount Sinai of fire blazes so much that is producing a thick black smoke he cloud in Deuteronomy 33 verse two tells us that there are hundreds of thousands of angels that are hovering invisibly around Mount Sinai.
Listen to what it says the Lord came from Sinai.
He shone forth from Mount Peron.
He came from the 10,000s of holy ones with flaming fire at his right hand B's Celeste steel beings or blasting shofar trumpets so loud it is deafening. And when God begins to speak. The people bag for God to stop talking and so is the Israelites stand before might Mount Sinai. What is it that is confronting them is the ball full holiness and great majesty of God and what is it that they intuitively learn and feel as they stand there. It is this that God is unapproachable that God is untouchable that God is a consuming fire that God is deadly and the emotional result of standing at the foot of Sinai was fear in the extreme. Even Moses said, I am fear filled with fear and trembling.
So here's the point.
The writer of Hebrews is trying to make an easement making it throughout the entire book. Is this what you want to go back to. Do you really want to return to Sinai's law do you really want to go back to the place where there is no grace for sinners. Do you really want to return back to judgment and fear and condemnation. That's the question you want to return and leave the grace that is in Jesus Christ and go back to the wall and put yourself under the law they can only bring the ultimate judgment of God.
But here's what the writer says to all of us as Christians and he says, is the reality of the new new covenant for you are not come unto the mountain that cannot be touched, which you have come to a better mountain and what is that mountain it is mount Zion and that's the second mountain I want us to look at because this is the motivation for all of us as we are running this race and the writer of Hebrews opens up for us and shows us heaven and he says we are marching to Zion but you have come to mount Zion. You remember the song were marching to Zion. Beautiful, beautiful Zion were marching upward to Zion, the beautiful city of God. And so what is the writer do.
He gives us seven descriptive features of what this mountain is like and notice these features. Number one is called the city of the living God, which you have come to mount Zion into the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. There is a city.
This is the city Abraham look for, whose builder and maker is God.
This is the city that John saw coming down out of heaven, he saw all this than the new Jerusalem have ever carefully done a study of the city, the new Jerusalem. You can read about it in Revelation chapter 21, 22 when I first of all say it's a big city. It's been a is 1500 its 1500 mi.². We talk about, square were talking about 1500 miles. This way, 15 miles is way 1500 mile strata. That's the distance.
By the way from Boston down to Miami. That's the distance from Greenville to Denver Colorado Fuente some folks that's a big city.
It's not only 1500 mi.² but is 1500 miles. Cute it goes up 1500 mile not think about it, the space shuttle flies at 250 feet student 250 miles above Earth's surface 250 miles. This is five times more than that.
That's a big city and you know what is a city where were going to live that I've often wonder what is going to be like. I mean is everybody gonna live on the floor or is there gonna be some penthouse views with the gonna be like how we got to travel around. Are we going to drive cars we get a flying airplanes. I don't think so because were to have a body like Jesus and Jesus ascended and descended. Jesus appeared and disappeared. How many of you would like to be in a place where you like to disappear because on it but I'm gonna see you later how many of you ever wanted to fly like a bird regiment. Come on out there, but you as far as I'm concerned were gonna fly were to appear appear and disappear working to move around. Obviously, as can be plenty of room for all of us. It is a big city. It is a beautiful city that's walls of Jasper wordwrap. Jasper could not really be translated in the way that we can understand something that is actually a cubed diamond. So not only is it a big city but it is an absolutely beautiful city and we are citizens of the city. We have a required passport and we have a visa that is stamped with the righteousness of Jesus Christ. This is the city where God dwells and this is the city where were going in the notice number two there is an innumerable company of angels, there one translation says it's a myriad of angels in festal array or festal gathering in the Bible gives us snapshots of the angels in heaven, for example in the Old Testament Daniel seven verse 10 it says a fiery stream issued and came forth from before him. That's the Lord thousand thousands ministered unto him, and 10,000×10,000, that's by the way, 100 million stood before him. The judgment was set and the books were opened 6817 the Chariots of God Are Twice 10,000 Thousands upon Thousands. The Lord Is among Them. Sinai Is Now in the Site in the Sanctuary At Least 100 Million Angels Now Think about That One Angel Was Able to Kill 185,000 Soldiers Destroyed the Army of the Syria Incident Accurate.
If One Angel Can Do That. What Can 100 Million Angels Do Major Damage.
Can You Imagine Was Going to Be like These Are Mighty Flaming Spirits Spoken of in Hebrews 1. They Are Moving over on Us and Just like Jesus Said When He Spoke of Jacob and the Latter to Heaven Where Angels Ascend and Descend on the Son of God. Why You Showing Us How Great Jesus the Son Is in These Angels Are Gathered Together in a Huge Festival Three Times a Year. The Jews Were Required to Go to Jerusalem for These Festivals.
What Is Heaven Is a Permanent Festival Where We Are Worshiping God with the Angels. Can You Imagine What It's Gonna Be like. I Think of the Opening Year Block Party. We Have down the Fields Where You Join Your Society and I Was Kind of Pretty Exciting All Kinds of Things Are Happening Going on It's It's Just, You Know, It's Just a Handful of Students. What Is It Gonna Be like When We Get to Heaven and Glorified Bodies in All of the Saints of All the Ages of Their Plus the Angels Is Going to Be a Festive Gathering. Listen to What It Says in Revelation Chapter 5 and I Beheld, and Heard the Voice of Many Angels Round about the Throne of the Beast and the Elders and the Number of Them Was 10,000×10,000, and Thousands of Thousands, Saying with a Loud Voice, Worthy Is the Lamb That Was Slain.
The Angels Sing with Us, but They've Never Experienced Redemption like You and I Because We Can Sing from Our Heart Knowing That God Is Redeemed Us and Made Us like His Own Son. And so This Is Going to Be a Festive Gathering and Then Notice Number Three Is Called the Church of the Firstborn to the Gen. Assembly and the Church of the Firstborn Which Are Written in Heaven, the Firstborn Refers to the Firstborn Son Who Receive the Rights of Inheritance by Virtue of Our Union with Jesus. We Are All Firstborn in Him. That Means We Are All Joint and Co-Heirs with Jesus Christ and We All Participate in His Inheritance, but That My Father Passed Away in 1997 When He Did He Laughed in His Will and Inheritance for His Four Children. It Was Enough Money for Each of Us to Put a down Payment for House, so I Bought a House Many Years Ago up in the Upper Part of Wisconsin and Every Time I Would Drive into the Home. I Would Think of the Fact That That on the Benefactor of My Father's Generosity That I Was Able to Purchase a Home Because of Inheritance That He Left Me Every One of Us Are Children of the Living God, and We All Are Heirs and Joint Heirs with Jesus Christ and a Part of That Is the Blessing That We Have of Living with Him Forever in This Great City We Are Connected down Here with Those That Are in Glory, and There We Are Joint Heirs with Them and Then Notice Number Four There Is God, the Judge of All the Scene in Heaven Is Joyful but It's Not Casual, the God of Zion Is Still the God of Sinai's Nature Has Not Changed. He Is Still the Judge of All, Therefore All of Us When We Worship God We Worship Him with Reverent Joy, Not Shallow Joy but What What We Could Save Respectful or Fearful Joy. Our Worship Should Be in Humility and Respect, and It Should Be an Submission, Even down Here As We Come to Worship God on Sundays and the Local Church. The Worship Atmosphere of the Local Sure Church Should Be One of Great Reverence and Respect.
It Shouldn't Be Light or Flippant or Shallow. It Shouldn't Be in a Sense If We Could Say Casual. Why Because We Are Coming to God, the Maker of All Things.
I Love What Paul Q Writes in His Lyrics in His Song. Oh God My Joy You Reign above in Radiant Splendor and Beauty. Your Word Is Strong My Heart to Love the Awesome Sight of Your Glory, Your Blazing Light and Gospel Gray Shine Brightly from the Savior's Face. No Other Wonder What I See.
Then Christ Enthroned in His Glory. There Is God, the Judge of All the Number Five There Are Spirits of Just Men Made Perfect, These Are Old Testament Saints Who Are Now in Glory. They Were Not Perfected until Christ Died Old Testament Saints Waited Centuries for That Perfecting Day, but Now His Calm and for New Testament Saints. The Moment That We Are Saved We Are Perfected in Christ, Justified by His Spirit and Sank Justified by His Righteousness, and Sanctified by His Spirit. Therefore, We Shan't Share down Here the Same Spiritual Life of Those Who Were up There. We Are Not Inferior to Them.
We Are Equal with Them. These Are the Spirits of Just Men Made Perfect, and Then Notice Number Six There Is Jesus, the Mediator or the New Covenant. It Is Significant That the Human Name of the Lord Jesus Is Used Here. Why Because Jesus Preexisted Is God, but He Only Became a Man through His Incarnation, and When He Died and Rose from the Dead. He Remained of Man in His Resurrection, Jesus Is One of Us. He Is Our Older and Bigger Brother and He Represents Us and He Has for Us Is Our Mediator before God under the Old Covenant, Moses Trembled before God, but under the New Covenant. You and I Have through Our Mediator through Our Big Brother Jesus We Have Access to the Presence of God with Boldness and with Confidence. You Have Come to This City Where There Is Jesus the Mediator and Then Finally There Is the Sprinkled Blood to the Blood of Sprinkling, That Speaketh Better Things Than That of Abel. What Does This Mean What Could Have Two Meetings Number One When It Speaks of the Blood of of Sprinkling from Able It Could Refer to the Blood That Cleanses Abel Was the First Shepherd Offer Sacrifices from His Flock Was for His Sin.
However, His Sacrifice Is like All Animal Sacrifices Were Not Effective to Watch Away Sin Permanently. So When Jesus Died Once for All His Blood Cleanses Us from All Sin. So It Could Would Be Read. This Way You Have Come to the Blood of Sprinkling That Speaks Better Things Than That of Abel Able Sacrifice Could Not Fully Cleanse Jesus's Sacrifice Does Fully Claimant That's One Way to Look at It, but There's a Second Way and That Is It Refers to the Blood That Judges That Is This in the Case, It Refers to Abel's Own Blood As He Was Murdered by His Older Brother Cain and When Abel's Blood Was Poured out on the Ground.
We Know This. We Read in the Scripture That His Blood Cried out for Vengeance and Justice and Wrath against His Murder and Here's What Hebrew Says That Jesus Is Blood Speaks Better Things. That Is Abel's Blood Cries out Justice against the Guilty and Jesus's Blood Shouts out Mercy for the Guilty Jesus Satisfied Sinai's Justice by Keeping the Law through His Life and by Paying the Penalty through His Death and the Point Is This, That the Law Cries out Judgment, but Christ on the Cross Cries out Mercy and That's the Whole Point.
And That's the Position I Take That We Do Not Turn Back to the Old Covenant the Old Way, but We Remain Where We Are and We Stay Focused Looking on the Jesus the Author and Finisher of Our Faith and We See This Mount Zion for the Bear We Have the Mercy of God That Is Found in the Blood of Sprinkling of Christ on the Cross so Run the Race. Be Faithful. Stay Focused on Christ Father, We Thank You for What You've Given Us in This New Eternal Heavenly City. Help Us to Be Faithful As We Run the Race 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.
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