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October 7, 2021 8:00 am
If you are Dr. Tony Evans says our faith needs to be more than just Once upon a time memory is God's lifestyle celebrating 40 years of faithfulness.
This is the alternative Dr. Tony author, speaker, senior pastor of Oakland Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, president of the alternative. There are times when the going gets so tough were tempted to throw in the towel and say I quit. But today Dr. Evans points out, there are things we can do to help keep us moving to a strong finish.
Let's join them as he explains 2020 will be remembered as the year of discouragement came struggle, frustration and fear, uncertainty on various levels for all of us because all of us in 2020 and beyond to have been affected by realities outside of our control on personal as well as collective levels, I began to gear up utilizing my wife a month later or so. My daughter Priscilla had half of her left lung removed for cancer, then the pandemic hits and everything shifted churchwide in March of that year I caught pneumonia and at the same time. How do we meander through challenges a church that no longer can meet fielding phone calls from congregants and people outside of our local congregation asking questions that there is no definitive answers to is this God's judgment.
How does this relate to in times what does the Bible say about pestilences trying to feel bad, as well as trying to find out how to negotiate. Do we lose members because they are afraid in this uncertainty.
What about frustrations humorous as it is with having to learn what it means to become a zoologist and try to meander keeping things intact with staff ministry while coming up with ways to let the flock know we still know their names and haven't forgotten them and then the sick, those who caught Cole Bearden were struggling or had an elongated symptoms. The worst of all those who lost loved ones in couldn't have a normal funeral. It's been a complex set of scenarios that were still trying to work our way through because of the implications of it in the middle of all that political chaos Christians being divided between Democrats and Republicans in the fighting verbally vindictiveness on both sides that occurred its it was a year to remember and it would not be hardened.
That kind of year to become discouraged and to lose heart. Whether it's because you becoming claustrophobic because you couldn't go anywhere. It was risky to try to was easy to lose heart to want to throw in the towel, emotionally or circumstantially. The statistics went through the roof about people who were having to take anxiety and depression medication parents had to figure a way to keep the kids educated while they still try to provide because schools were shut down. Kids were getting behind it was daunting. Sometimes when things get bad enough you want to lose heart to lose heart means to quit the throw in the towel to run away to abandon the circumstance in one way or another. That's what the Bible talks about when it talks about losing heart. The book of Hebrews was written to Christians who were losing heart. This is a book written to discourage Christians who didn't know whether it was worth it to keep going. The struggle was too great. The difficulty was to daunting. The pain was too palpable. The question was is it worth keeping going and many wanted to quit. Want to go back to the old way they wanted to abandon Christ to abandon Christianity. So the author of Hebrews writes the book to challenge them not to lose heart. So we find ourselves in Hebrews chapter 12 where he says therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entitles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God for consideration who has endured such hostility by sins against himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
My challenge for me as I preach to me as I preached us is simply to never give up his hardest things have been as hard as things are the author of Hebrews is telling them and is speaking to us and he saying you never give up. In chapter 10. For example, he says in verse 35 therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has great reward for you have need of endurance, so that when you are done the will of God.
You may receive what is promised. Verse 39 and we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the to the persevering of the school.
What is simply said his. Don't give up.
As hard as it is as challenging as it is been for me, for you and I speak to us the word of the Lord for today and the reset that he is doing is don't give up now that's easy to say and I'm sure most would agree with having heard it, but a lot of things are easier to say, do, especially when you're overwhelmed by life's negative realities. Please going to say three things to help you, me and us in spite of all the turmoil will impersonally include geologically culturally racially politically and socially, economically, never give up. The first thing he wants to say is to encourage you never to give up.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us. Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us. Now whenever you see the word grandpa in the Bible, you must ask what it's been there for me.
In light of what I just said that's what I'm getting ready to talk about, but is predicated on what I just said no you have to read all of Hebrews 11 to get his point about the cloud of witnesses, a witness gives agreement or testimony to something a witness in the courtroom gives testimony to the reality of what is being said. He calls them a cloud of testimony givers or witnesses. He says these witnesses surrounding us present tense there right here right now and they will testify that many of you who grew up in the old church. Remember the preacher saying can I get a witness what he was asking was is anybody who can confirm what I'm saying. Dr. Evans will come back with a multitude of witnesses when he returns in just a moment before he does know I want to tell you about Tony's newest book is called kingdom heroes and is the perfect follow-up to what we've been learning today.
It's a close look at the Bible's face Hall of Fame ordinary people who did extraordinary things by taking God at his word. Those witnesses proclaim spiritual reality is much more than we can see or touch. Example of how much we can endure, overcome and accomplish when we act as though God is telling the truth. We want you to be one of the first to receive a copy of this new book is or thank you gifts when you make a contribution to help us keep Tony's teaching on the station along with it will send you the companion kingdom heroes Bible study workbook and all 13 messages in Tony's heroes of the faith series as a bonus, you can get the messages from both volumes on CD or digital download whichever works best for you, but this offer ends tomorrow, so be sure to get in touch right away to get the details and make the arrangements. You can do that email@example.com that's Tony Evans.org or reach out to our resource Center at 1-800-800-3222 anytime of the day or night. That's 1-800-800-3222. I repeat that information for you right after part two of today's lesson and this Dr. Tony talks about his conversion to Israel.
The motion picture so that I was now seeing living color, the atmosphere environment. All the excitement, learning what the Bible describes how you can have vaccine experience along with Tony in a new motion picture coming to theaters in November. Journey with Jesus. A lot of people want to go to Israel is an expensive trip. We did not want those people denied the experience that we had Bobby travel with Tony after he explored actual site where the most powerful advance in the Bible to not just helping you feed them understand what they mean and how they can change your life is to be a biblical experience, not really sexy to journey with Jesus in theaters November 15, 16th and 17, Tony Evans.org for location. Sometimes, to learn more. The author of Hebrews said there was a cloud of witnesses. There is a body of people who will testify that you can make it and that you want, never give up that testimony is given by men and women who are described in chapter 11 that obviously time will not allow us to go through 40 verses in Chapter 11 over each person but our summit up with the first couple of verses of chapter 11 now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen for by the men of old gained approval by faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which others so the testimonies that he gives it 11 leading him to talk to us beginning in chapter 12 is a testimony that the key to making it and not giving up is learning to live by faith.
That's the gate, the way you're going to make it in spite of the headache and heartache life is to learn what they remodeled, and that was learning to live by faith. He says faith is the assurance of things hoped for. It involves an expectation is being confident about the expectation and the way you know you're confident about the expectation is that you move in faith even though you haven't seen it yet, as we have stated so often. Faith is measured by your feet not by your feeling your feelings on the caboose.
Your movement is the engine you can feel faith. They should have no faith and not moving. You can feel no faith, but people of faith because you are moving he says let me illustrate what I'm talking about this as we know that the walls were created by the word of God, but I don't know that anybody seen God. So what you see the world came from somebody you don't sleep in other words, we know God is real, not because we seen God. We see what he can do. I've never see Picasso, but his work speaks for his name. I've never seen Mozart but his work speaks for his name. There are many things we believe that we never see the source of if you and I are going to not quit give up throwing the tile. We must learn to live by faith, and faith is not merely the event when you got say it is supposedly the lifestyle that you live now that you are Romans 117 for example, says that we ought to go from faith to faith for the just shall live by faith.
Faith is supposed to be a lifestyle, not an event alone.
He says in Romans 1423 whatever is not of faith is sin. For 705 seven that we walk by faith not by sight of you from Missouri and you need to see it first.
Then you will be subject to the circumstances around you and be limited by since we have a cloud of witnesses.
Witnesses testify you know when I have a professional boxing match heavyweight boxing match previous champion come into the ring and shake the contestants hands previous heavyweight champion commanded shake the hand in this guidance called guidance, what this is been initially I thought here before and I'm here to testify. You can come out with they bring to pass to Rose to give testimony about the present battle. Chapter 11 is full of men and women who went through what we're going through at different times, different cycles and they give testimony. I've been there. I've heard where you present struggle where you struggled but rejected what you've been rejected, but I'm here to testify.
You can make it by faith. Now I'm often asked the question do people in heaven know what we are dealing with are available. Is there an awareness in another dimension of what we're going through in this dimension. The Bible is clear we going to do a whole series. On the other dimension he goes into it in more detail later on in his book and chapter 12 the same chapter when he begins to talk about verses 18 through 24.
You can read that on your own. But he says we come to Mount Zion and he says that we come to a place with burning fire. Any seven verse 23 we come to the Gen. assembly of the church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven.
He says we have come to a place where folks have already gone so there is in some mystical way, a place of contact between heaven and earth, it's another dimension so we don't see it and feel it, but it's real. So when he says in verse one we are surrounded there is a sense in which it be intercessory work of Jesus Christ. Those who have been faithful to God were brought before partner with him and continuing fast-moving and faith. There is a point of contact for the details of which we can get into today. But the point is, these witnesses are here to give testimony don't you quit now know about you but I believe that testimony on Sunday. So, yes, is the testimony of God is the testimony of his word.
It's also the testimony of being surrounded. We talked about Heberling Chapter 11. He says able was dead still speaks that there is a voice even though he'd already died. So there is this point are blinking between the dimension of the physical in which we live. But the contact with the spiritual in which we are to exist and so when I worked my way through this Chapter 11 was reminded of all of those where the struggle by faith, that some of these people, you know how they got in the lot, I got a long and here that's the good news. You can start where you can start where you are and save the rest of my life. I'm going to live by faith. I'm going to act like God is telling the truth. Even though I don't see the result. I don't see what I'm expecting praying for desiring one thing I will see it yet but I'm going to move like it's real says talked about creation. He says we live in a world created by somebody you don't see you as a God does exist and I will see you.
So when they want to deny God to go to evolution fairytales for adults, so his challenges faith challenge all of the people you names from the Old Testament so this is one of the reasons you read the Old Testament is full of stories, but it's full of narrative design challenge you to live by faith. Dr. Tony Evans with an encouraging message from the Bible's faith Hall of Fame conduct with another relevant observation in just a moment. So stay with us.
If you've never taken the step of looking to Jesus and putting your faith and trust in him.
There's no better time to do that than right now is it Tony Evans.org and click on the link that says Jesus there. 20 will explain what it means to be a real Christian, and how you can start a brand-new life. That's Tony Evans.org and while you're on the website.
Don't miss the chance to take advantage of that special offer. I mentioned earlier is a three-part faith resource package including all 13 messages from volumes one and two of Tony's current audio series heroes of the faith, along with his new book and Bible study kingdom heroes there yours with our thanks when you make a donation to help keep this listener supported program coming your way. Just visit Tony Evans.org to make the arrangements or color resource Center at 1-800-800-3222 team members are standing by to assist with your request. This offer is only good through tomorrow so contact us right away that number again 1-800-800-3222, or firstname.lastname@example.org in the face of tough times we been told that it's the courage to continue the counts will tomorrow. Dr. Evans will show believers just where to look to find that courage. Right now though he's back with this observation during the one here without you had to say and found it was talk about something Casey, but we wanted to say about what you couldn't see which could see can affect you readjusted because he said so we went six sets up the blood. We gave his word a file ready by the government authority trying to find about like you about some you cannot see how much authority should we get the word of God, who has no and is not trying to learn some of the alternative with Dr. Tony have brought to you by the urban alternative celebrating 40 years of faithfulness, thanks to the generous contributions of listeners like you