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April 16, 2021 7:00 pm
Dr. Steve Pettit concludes the series entitled “Run the Race,” with a message titled “A Final Flyover” from Hebrews 12.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville South Carolina today is the last sermon from Steve Pettit study series from Hebrews 12: run the race. We hope it's been a blessing to you as you listen to these messages. We thought that you'd like to hear how students at Bob Jones were impacted by the series. So we went out on campus with our recorder and here's what they had to say. Really enjoyed the series of run the race given me a lot of encouragement and context to like what were going for as college students and as believers in Christ how we can stand strong in our faith. Sean Ford told Mary and the thing that stuck out most to me in chapel is what Steve Pettit said in one of his run the race messages is that success in the Christian life is measured in obedience. The larger leaving teaching me how important it is to prioritize your walk with him when you get to college. He gets really busy and have a lot of things that are keeping your mind focused on them that you need to really make sure that you keep Lloyd spending time in your personal devotions priority not rushing to aid in making a checklist item is really an important thing to be doing SKU gone does get hard school does get hard but just gotta keep going. The Lord will help you if you keep striving. Gotta thrive. God is teaching me about trust is even when I'm discouraged I can still trust him a lot of messages centered on discouragement and running the race and especially today-chapel chastisement how like chastisement we can see God's love interest in the knowing that like even when you're going through difficult times. It's reflecting God's love and still trust him still good to me that he is always in control and his control is better than my control. I absolutely love his arm sermon on discouragement and just the way that he validated that it is something that we all experience and just key ways that we can recognize in ourselves and, hopefully," chapel has impacted me in the fact that the Christian life is a race and it's hard race. God is teaching me to be dependent on him and not to worry and to rely on him is been teaching me said it's all right to go through struggles and trials. In fact, we should expect it, we should expect to through pain because it's what God uses gross close to him like it says in Hebrews, like if God doesn't punch you if you don't go through hard times and trials.
Are you really a child of God, and it's kind of give me hope and some of the struggles that I'm going through and my friends are going through and it just reminds me that were not doing this for nothing. God has a plan and all of this is part of this plan. Just gotta see through the end enter the race. We hope this series has been a blessing to you was well known which listen to the final sermon which Stevenson titled final flyover summarizing Hebrews chapter 12 well-liked this morning to really finish up our series are runners almost almost finished about about the cross the finish line in today is the last message that we will have our series of run the race as we been working through Hebrews chapter 12 next week redoing the whole series in the week on mental health and so that will be a completely different approach, but because you're having life groups tomorrow. I would like to do one final what I would like to do a flyover of the things that we have learned over the course of this master just as trying reminders in some of the big ideas that we learn like to take your Bibles and turn to Hebrews 12 Hebrews 12 this morning as we began the semester we started out with the introduction to the book of Hebrews and in that we learn that the author of the book was was someone we don't know something something. It was the apostle Paul.
Others think it may have been Apollo so others really the reality is that the author is unknown, but we do know that he was riding to a particular audience that is he was riding the Jewish Christians, people who were had come out of their their Judea stick faith into receiving Jesus Christ as their Savior, who was the ultimate fulfillment of their faith was the Messiah and the promise of the Abraham a covenant and so is riding the Jewish Christians and this is based upon the book of Hebrews. Many people think that these were Jewish Christians living in the city of Rome and he is riding them at a particular time in history and that is he's writing them after they had gone through a persecution under a former Emperor and now the current Emperor is Nero and it's right before the great persecution that breaks out were so many believers are put to death and during this time they these believers. These Jewish Christians were struggling in their faith and I'm reminded I'm reminded of the reality that all of us struggle with our faith because faith means you believe in something that you cannot see if we could see heaven. Every day it would be a different story.
But we have hope we have confidence that that there are going to be things that will happen in the future.
We believe that we live by faith, and so they were struggling with their faith and they were being tempted to go back to Judaism because the temple had not been destroyed in Israel and their their faith.
Prior to coming to Christ was very physical. They could see the temple they could see and smell the sacrifices they could see the priests, their lives were ordered by their walls and their lifestyle and now they entered into a faith of a belief in someone who is greater than all the temple and greater than all the sacrifices and greater than all the priest but they see him who is invisible.
So there was the struggle and the temptation to go back to Judaism, so the author writes this this tremendous book and he uses a particular form of logic you know God can speak to us in commands and we are required to obey. But God also appeals to our logic to our mind to think it through and make a right decision. So we uses logic and the logic is a form of the form of logic is called a fortiori where he argues from the lesser to the greater if you like this. You really like this or if you think this is good. This is so much better and what he did his he took Judaism and he argued showing that Christ is better because Jesus is the fulfillment of everything they had in their Judea stick faith. And so Christ is greater than the Angels and is greater than the temple.
These greater than the high priest in these greater than the sacrifices sees the fulfillment of all those thing in the end result of reading about Jesus in the book of Hebrews brings about what we call the wow factor. That's the result of wow and so we look to Jesus.
We keep our eyes focus on Christ but also in that he brings a warning and that warning as well. What happens if you leave the faith. What happens if you walk away from the faith, and so five times. He brings about what we call these warning passages in the end result of that is not a wow factor. It's a woe factor is like this is serious. It's it's it's the strongest passage in the New Testament that deals with walking away from your faith. So we come to the end of the book and what is Hebrews 12 all about. It's an exhortation and that is involved in chapter 11. He gives a whole history of Old Testament saints who were faithful and now he appeals to the New Testament saints to be faithful and these were all Jews in the Old Testament who were looking forward to the coming Messiah. Now they are living. After that time that the Messiah came in so in Hebrews chapter 12. He begins with a positive inspiration here is this great we could say cloud of witnesses, the grandstand of the faithful. These people have run the race and they have been faithful so you need to run the race with them, but then he gives a negative exhortation and he says law if these Old Testament saints did it, but they were a bit handicapped. They didn't have the indwelling spirit like you had they bet they don't have the understanding of of the power of Jesus Christ and yet they remain faithful if they didn't handicapped what about you and the negative point is that if you don't run the race to be faithful. You're the biggest loser because you are living in a better day you are living after the cross, and the in the empty tomb, not not like those that lived before, so weak he begins this book he brings us through we come to Hebrews 12. So what are the big ideas and this is just simply a reminder, a remembrance of what we've learned the sub this semester so five big ideas. I like to share this morning. Number one the first thing is this that the Christian life is a race he says let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
It is a race.
And just like a race has a start, so the Christian life has a beginning Windows it begin. It begins with our profession of faith.
Hebrews 1023. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. That is an appointed time in your life you profess faith. I was flying back from Salt Lake City on Saturday night, I sat next to a gentleman who lives here in Greenville and on our flight from Atlanta coming back. I asked him when did you make a perfect action of faith and he shared me up with me when specifically he had accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior. It is right for us to ask that because you don't grow up as a Christian you are born into the Christian family, you become an adopted son of God just like a race has an in the finish is when we enter into complete salvation and glory. Peter says receiving the end of your faith, the salvation of your souls. So the beginning is when we put our faith in Christ. The end is when we enter into glory. And that's really what we saw at the end of chapter 12 outcome to that in the moment when he says, you have come to Mount Zion, the city of the living God, and I think one of the major points that we have to keep in mind is that the struggle that we go through as a Christian, and by the way, the word race as a reminder, is the Greek word agon. That's what we get the word agonize and agony but it's not so much pain as it is often heroic struggle is like the athlete who has to get your body in shape they have to go through conditioning processes, but it is worth the struggle to get to that point and what he is saying is this, that the Christian life of faith as we run the race is worth it all.
I has not seen, neither has entered into the heart of man, what God has prepared for those that love him.
What ever we have to endure in this life will be worth it all. So first of all, the Christian life is a race.
The second big idea is this, that the one character quality that we need to run this race is endurance. Let us run with patience. Let us run with in your rents the race that is set before us. It's not about how it's not about how fast we run. It's how long we have to run is not 100 yard dash. It's a lifelong marathon and that endurance is often times we use the word perseverance. We call it the perseverance of the saints. There is a gentleman out in the blog world who who sharply criticizes me in East criticize me on this. This theme of running the ranks in East criticize me for teaching you the perseverance of the saints in his focal point is on the preservation of the saints. Once we are saved we are eternally saved and I said amen but when you read the Bible you always have a balance because those who are in the faith are faithful, those who are preserved.
Persevere because often times in the New Testament the word for belief is not in the past tense is in the present tense, so we are believers today and one of the reasons why this is important is because the whole idea of salvation has to do with with with big pictures like the race to start the finishing the running you have justification that's getting say you have glorification. That's ultimately being say and then you have the sanctification process.
That's the proof that I'm safe as I'm living out my faith.
And so when we look at this passage of Scripture. It teaches that those who are true believers persevere they stick it out.
They stay with it. They are faithful they are challenged to believe and that that challenge never goes away and it's not easy but we stay faithful so the second thing that we learn is that the quality that we need to run the race is endurance which leads to the third big idea and that is God's trains his own children through chastening. So we talked about that we think of chastening. We usually think of something that is painful and that doesn't mean that that's a wrong way to look at it with the limited way to look at because the idea of chastening in the New Testament is used often to learn is it is the idea of going through training like exercises. Sometimes it is going through a disciplined process and the best way to look at chastening is an education in its it's going to school you don't go to school all of your life but going to school has a purpose behind and it's more than they had. It has to be the heart.
It has to be the hands. It has to be the life I think one of the great things you get here at Bob Jones University as it is a as a student is not only do you get a tremendous academic education and I think we all know that. But even beyond that it is the training of a life is learning not just how to make a living is learning how to live is learning the importance of character development and so the whole process of going through this endurance, we we go through endurance as we in God is using that to train us God's schoolhouse of Christian maturity involves often times difficulties and hardships, but where to persevere. What is it mean to persevere when things get severe you just Perrone through you just stay with it. You do the next best thing. The next right thing right now and you stay with it, but in the midst of this chastening. It's easy for us to forget something. And so the writer of Hebrews says look, don't forget these fundamental truths because you have to constantly remind yourself one of the things we do in Christian counseling as we learn to counsel ourselves and we know that our heart is deceitful but God's truth can straighten out her heart and what is it that we have to remember number one we have to remember that I'm God's child, you have forgotten the exhortation who speaks unto you as unto his own children. You are God's child. She is your father. He has adopted you, you become an heir with Jesus Christ. You are God's child. Secondly, you have to remember that God loves you that God is on your side and that whatever takes place in my life even as difficult as it as it is, it never changes. God's love for me because nothing can separate me from the love of God and then I have to remember that God is in the process of changing me.
That's the whole point is you stick out your faith as you endure.
God brings about a change process in your life. So, remind yourself talk to yourself, counsel yourself in the note number four with the fourth big idea is it through all of this, we have to keep our eyes on Christ, we have to stay focused and so what is he tells in verse three, verse two, he says, looking under Jesus just like Peter looked under Jesus when he got out of the boat and he began to walk on the water by faith.
So we have to look to Jesus. If we look at the storm around us and we look at the swelling tide were going to see sink. We all understand that when we look at circumstances we often get depressed if we look at other people. We often get discouraged if we look at ourselves. We get depressed. But if we look at the Lord we find our delight in him because he is the source of our strength and so we are to look to Jesus.
He warns us. He says avoid people like Esau, who have fallen away, and they become bitter avoid them because they have a powerful and negative influence in your life. Can I warn you this morning. Make sure that those friends of yours who are in the faith are rolling pursuing persevering in their faithfulness.
Be careful about those who are critics and who are negative, and you get around them.
It seems likely pull you down instead of build you up, you need to have the friends who were running with you in that race so that you encourage one another and focus on Christ. But let me just say this, that is, we look to Jesus Christ were not looking to him to be our inspiration. We say that when the Bible says in verse three consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself.
The word considers a careful examination like doing a XL spreadsheet and let you look at things very carefully what he is saying here is, we do not look to Jesus to be our inspiration because it fees your inspiration. It means that your source of of running the race is within yourself. You just need to be inspired but we look to Jesus. Actually, as the source of our empowerment because something special happens to the believer that looks to Jesus because when you look to Christ. He always brings redemption.
He always brings salvation. Whether it's salvation from sin. We look to him to be saved, or when we look to him in the midst of our struggles any brains to us.
Empowerment is an act of faith and looking to Christ.
The Christian life is not based on how strong I am is based on how weak I am and whether or not I'm willing to look to him for strength. It's not the independent person that runs race is the deep and the purse so this looking to Jesus is simply saying God I can't do this if you don't help me.
You are my powers and that's how we are enabled to faithfully run the race. People often ask how do you do this and the answer is not about me it's about him and that leads to the fifth and final big idea.
What is the end of the race, what we've already said it, but I want to conclude by looking at verse 22 of Hebrews chapter 12, when he makes this statement, he says, but you are calm on the Mount Zion. That phrase your come in the Greek is in the perfect tense the word perfect. The idea perfect tense is it's a completed action that is occurred in the past, something that's already happened by. It produces what's happening in the present. It produces the current state of affairs that exist right now and the idea is this when he says you've come to Mount Zion he's talking about what happens when you get saved. The moment you accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior you are you are instantaneously and eternally say so that if you died five minutes after you trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior. You would enter into glory. So you have, another words so I ask if you died today would you go to heaven and you said yes it means it is since you're already there. But you're not. So he says which you have come to Mount Zion what he saying is this that you and I are already citizens of that kingdom, but we're not there yet but were going there.
I maybe bought a plane ticket to go home this this this past Thanksgiving, you bought plenty to go okay yeah the ticket in hand, you knew you're going there but you're there yet until you got on the plane when all we we know our our names are written in the Lamb's book of life that were not there yet, but he says you've come there. So what does he say he says the end of the race is our eternal reward, and what is that he says you have not come to Mount Sinai this mountain do but you have come to Mount Zion and he concludes with seven amazing points about that city. Number one, you come to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem is described in Revelation 21 and 22 you come to an innumerable host of angels in a festal gathering is a great feast and there are going to be at least 100 million angels there.
By the way, have you thought about angels, what they look like you'll find out you'll find out who guarded you. I had a friend of mine is an evangelist who said my my guardian angels going to go on vacation when I when I die because he sees a lot of work and we're going to meet those angels were going to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven. These of the New Testament saints to God, the judge of all, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect. These are the Old Testament saints have been justified. So were going to see Abraham and David in Isaiah and Ezekiel in Jeremiah to Jesus the mediator tour of the new covenant and we will see Jesus as a years we will see him as a human being who is divine, we will see the God man, and finally to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel because Abel's blood cried out for judgment. But Jesus's blood cries out for mercy and there we will spend eternity in his presence forever. So let's run the race. My prayer is that you be faithful you'll stay true to Christ. Your walk with him. Father, thank you for your wonderful word Lord help us to run with patience the race that is set before us. Thank you for your goodness and grace. Thank you for bringing this back here safely and I pray for your blessing on these last few weeks together. 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. These 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 next week as we study God's word together on The Daily Platform