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HOW TO WALK BY FAITH
John Barnett here and welcome to Hebrews chapter 11. I have to say that you’ve probably noticed it took two weeks for me to do this lesson because it was so much. Let me just run through the board and show you what Hebrews 11 covers. Hebrews 11 I wrote, is one of the most far-reaching chapters of the Bible. It covers creation, it mentions it, which is Genesis 1 and 2. It talks about Cain and Abel, that’s Genesis 3 and 4. It talks about Enoch Genesis 5, talks about Noah that’s Genesis 6 through 8 and 9 and 10. Abraham, 11 to 25, Sarah, 21, Isaac, 22 and 27 of Genesis, Jacob, Joseph, and then we go into Moses and Joshua and Rahab. I didn’t even have room on the whiteboard to write down all the rest. Time would fail me to tell you of Gideon and Barak and Jephthah, Samson, who through faith, subdued kingdoms. Hebrews 11 is a massive chapter, but it goes all the way to the return of Christ to Heaven and it talks about the cross and the crucifixion, and it’s just an amazing chapter.
Let me jump in. Some of you, I know this is your first time jumping into this. Every week that we publish another study I get notes from you. The one I got today, said you’re the best Christmas present I’ve ever had, your channel. I’ve been watching since Christmas. I don’t know if they got a device or if someone pointed them to it, but praise the Lord. Welcome aboard. We’re in The 52 Greatest Chapters. That’s what FTGC means. Week 45 of a year-long, 52 week look at the scriptures. We’re looking at the whole Bible. You can see from my chart over there that we’re covering the key chapters that kind of explain and summarize everything else in the Bible.
This is my title. In your journal, which all of us should have a journal where we work all week long recording, this is my Hebrews 11, right there, Hebrews 11 week 45. Just my scribbled notes from all my work this week. From our journal, part of what we do is write down a title and summarize. I summarized Hebrews 11 as God’s record of, and look at this, Son, not SUN, but as in the Son of God, God the Son. Son-powered lives that made it through the darkest days of human history. Of course, the key verse that just jumps out of this whole chapter is verse 6 right here. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
I did a series about four years ago. A whole series studying what it means to diligently seek God. I called it Hungering for God. At the end of this video, I’ll do a little reminder about this, but I called it a life of praying, fasting, and resting and listen to how I described it because it just so gripped my mind as I studied the Bible. I wrote, do you ever notice that the believers we read about in the pages of the New Testament, like Hebrews 11, were amazing? They had peace in stressful times. They had joy in tough times. They had rest during busy times. Would you like to enjoy Christ’s promised peace, joy, and rest? Those gifts and much more flow from the ancient habits or choices that come from hungering for God. Learn how to cultivate a hunger for God. This step-by-step guide explains in bite-sized pieces, how to cultivate this life of biblical praying, fasting, and resting that nurtured and overflowed the lives of those early believers.
This one is the complete series, Hungering for God, the complete audio and text. I don’t know if you can see them down here, I’ll pick them up, but actually, the videos take up a lot more room. They’re available, all of these, on YouTube somewhere among the 4,692 videos. There are 30 videos and they’re all in high resolution on these DVDs. Maybe when you finish your 52 Greatest Chapter study, we only have about eight more weeks left, you could start a six month study of how to hunger for God. I just thought I would remind you of that because they’ve been sitting here. See, they sit right here by my board, and I get comments from many of you saying, what is that sitting by your eraser? This is the final week I could tell you about that.
We’re looking at, as we cover chapter 11, the Old Testament world that was busy, distracting, and evil, we’re going to see that in Hebrews 11. We’ll also see the world that perished, that’s the world that God flooded with Noah, had no time for God, and was characterized by restlessness, emptiness, godlessness, and arrogance. Doesn’t that sound like the world that we’re living in today? That the Bible warns us about the last days.
Here’s why I got so excited about this week’s studying, it spread into two weeks for me. God the Son wants to power our lives so we like them can make it through the darkest days. The way we do that is through these seven lessons that we’re going to cover today. Faith is huge to God. We live in a world where we want all the details on our cell phones and online, and we want charts and everything. God says I want you to simply believe what I said to you. When I open this like I did early this morning starting my day, this book is called God’s word, the Bible. As I read it, God spoke to me. What is this called? The word of God. God says, I want you to trust what I’m saying. He speaks through His word.
Number two, God framed the universe from unseen things. God is the creator and God tells us that there is nothing prehistoric. Let me just write that down. There are no prehistoric times for Earth. Why? Because we have written down everything that’s ever happened from the creation of the Earth onward to the ending. That’s why I call out this idea of creation. God remembers our lives and that’s verse 4 and we’re going to cover that. Everything we do matters to Him. Our lives can please God. God’s preparing a place for us, that takes us to Heaven and alluring sins can be resisted by faith. Wow. Finally, God is aware of all of our struggles.
Let’s cover those as we jump into the slides. Okay. As you look at the slide, we’re on week 45, the chapter is Hebrews 11. It’s God’s record. Remember this is an inspired book of the Bible. This is from God, every word of it. Every word of God is pure. It’s inspired. It’s breathed out by the Spirit of God, written down by human authors, of Son-powered lives that make it through the darkest days of human history. Where we are is right here. The heroes of the faith. That’s my first time through. That’s what I called chapter 11. You can see my title got bigger and longer and everything. We’re on our 45th week and there are only 52 weeks so we’re so close to the end.
This is what we’re doing, especially for those of you that are with us for the first time. We’re surveying the whole Bible. If you stay with us for all 52 lessons, you’re going to cover the whole Bible by the 52 Greatest Chapters or passages. Here’s the key. I want you to learn this lifelong habit of the devotional method, where you write down your own title after you read the passage, and you summarize the whole passage in one sentence. That’s what you saw on the board. That’s one of my summaries. Then you keep looking for those lessons. That’s what I just showed you. Those seven are on the sideboard. Then we’re going to end with what we all need to be working toward, a prayer in which we ask the Lord to unleash into our life at least one of those truths or the lessons that you found. Not just unleash it around and for your wife or your husband or your kids or your roommates or your friends, but into your life. That’s what we need to do.
Remember, the book of Hebrews is one of the big epistles of the New Testament. It’s got 13 chapters. See, it goes all the way through Hebrews 13. When I teach this, and I’ve taught through every bit of the book of Hebrews in another one of our series, this is the outline. I cover it in 10 classes. This hour we’re looking at one class, the heroes of the faith, Hebrews chapter 11.
I want to take you over to my Bible so look over here at my Bible and let me get to the beginning of chapter 11. This is Hebrews 11, book of Hebrews chapter 11. Before the title this is my very first summary, live by faith as a Pilgrim. The first time I read Hebrews 11 that was my one, small, short phrase or sentence summary of the whole chapter. You can see that since I do this each day of the week, I get an awful lot of these because the longer I read it, the more I think about it.
“For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” This is the creation reminder. Look at this, verse 4, “By faith Abel.” See what I wrote in my margin, can you see it over here? Genesis 4. Lookup for a second. If you want to get a real challenge as you’re going through Hebrews 11, go back to the creation account in Genesis 1 and 2. Cain and Abel in Genesis 3 and 4. Do you see why we cover the whole Bible in this study? If you look up all of these verses and read the passage, that’s why it took me two weeks because I did all that. I went back and forth.
Look back at my Bible. In Genesis 3 and 4 I read about the faith of Abel and the excellent sacrifice, better than Cain’s, “through which he obtained witness that he was righteous. God testifying of his gifts.” Look at this, I underlined it. “Through it being dead still speaks.” What is that? God says Abel’s life is still speaking as a testimony to God. That’s something I want in my life, after I’m no longer here, to keep on speaking for the Lord.
Then Enoch in Genesis 5. Remember he was translated so he wouldn’t see death because he was walking with God. Abel was offering to God. Enoch was walking with God. Noah was obeying God. “By faith Noah, being divinely warned.” That’s covered in Genesis 6 through 8. Then we get into Abraham, Genesis 11 to 20. I love this. “By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city.” I love it. “The city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” You can tell all of these are coming out in my lessons and principles because this is so rich. I think this should be two weeks instead of one week of the 52 chapter study, but that’s okay.
Look at this. We get to Genesis 21. “By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed.” Then the summary. I love verse 13. You notice I have it underlined, in red, and boxed. God wrote, “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims.” Look at this. Are you passing through or parked? Are you a stranger or at home on Earth? See the essence of the life, verse 6, that pleases God is that we are this Pilgrim and stranger.
Then on through we get to Genesis 22 when Abraham offered Isaac. Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, that’s Genesis 27. Jacob, when he was dying, blessed all the sons of Joseph. That’s covered in Genesis 48 and 49. “By faith Joseph, when he was dying,” that’s Genesis 15 and onward. Moses, look at this, that’s Exodus 2 and I circled the choices Moses made. He “refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter” in verse 24. He chose, verse 25, to suffer affliction. Verse 26 he esteemed “the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.”
Lookup for a second, I want to share something with you. My wonderful wife, Bonnie, and thank you. My wonderful wife Bonnie is sitting over there running the studio and all these lights and all the tripods and cameras that I forget to look at. I’ve got too many to look at, but we watched the national geographic video of the unearthing of King Tut’s tomb and Howard Carter, and the Downton Abbey, the benefactor Lord Carnarvon, as he paid for this. Then when Carter poked through the wall and fished in the camera, they looked in there. The candle lit it up and he said all he saw was the glint of gold. Then, what they told us was that King Tut was a nobody. He was a teenager. He hadn’t accomplished anything. The radiometric data that they did by scanning his mummy, said he was a sickly king, probably never rode a chariot into battle like all of his pictures portrayed, shooting the arrows and everything. He was like one of the most minor of all the Kings, yet he was surrounded by a ton of gold. A ton of gold and precious jewels and some of the most intricate jewelry and furniture and chariot and everything that you could ever imagine.
Look back at my Bible, why I said that. It says by faith, Moses “esteeming the reproach of Christ.” Do you see why I called my title Son-powered lives? When they trusted in the Lord who revealed Himself it was God the Son, Christ. He was greater riches than the treasures in Egypt. How many treasures were in Egypt? Well, King Tut’s tomb, which he was a nobody among Pharos, was so immense. It’s boggling to think what the great, powerful Thutmose that was the one that Moses served under, how great his riches were. Moses said, nope, I’m looking for God’s reward.
Keep going here into verse 27. See, I circled this. This is the devotional method. You circle the words that touch your heart and challenge you. He refused, he chose, he esteems, he forsook, he endured, and he kept. See what I wrote here? Seven words, testimony of Moses. Moses refused anything, but God. He chose God’s way at any cost. Esteemed God was better than all the treasures. He looked to God to reward his life. He forsook Egypt as a picture of sin. He endured all the years and decades of struggles he went through. He kept the word of the Lord, the Passover. That’s how I do the whole chapter and you can see all the rest. We get to Exodus 14, which is the Red Sea event, and the Passover is Exodus 12. Then Jericho with Joshua and Rahab is Joshua chapters 2 to 6, and then lots more here.
Back to the slides. That’s my Bible. Here’s my journal. What I do is I take time to record all these things. First, I wrote all these different titles. This is typed out exactly what I have in my written journal. 52 chapters, week 45, Hebrews 11. Title, heroes of the faith. That was the first day. God loves faith and responds to faith. That was my second time reading it through. How to live for God through the darkest days of human history and please him. That was the next one. Then I got the one on the board, the Son-powered lives. The longer you read this in the devotional method, the more deeply it stirs your heart.
Then I wrote a summary. This may be the most important chapter for the historic record of human history given by divine inspiration as God gives us. Inspired, which means divine view. Then I counted them. This is a divine view of 15 men, two women, and some prophets, plus at least 17 historical events that God describes. Look over here. This is an expansion, Hebrews 11. Then I wrote all of these down with where they are in Genesis and Exodus and Joshua and I ran out of space, there’s a lot more.
Back to the slide. In this chapter, now this is important. God affirms the inspired Old Testament record of what? Creation, the fall, Cain and Abel, Enoch’s rapture. Yeah. Have you ever heard of the Rapture? There was Enoch’s rapture. There was Elijah’s rapture and there’s going to be the 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 rapture of all the Church just before the tribulation. Then the entire Earth-covering flood of Noah. How do we know it covered the whole Earth? It says it in Genesis and Jesus said it did in Matthew 24. He said just like the flood of Noah overwhelmed the Earth with water, so the coming judgment of the tribulation is going to cover the whole Earth. God’s choice in the call of Abraham of Er, then Canaan. His choice of Isaac over Ishmael. By the way, you notice the second born was chosen over the firstborn. Jacob over Esau, same idea, second-born over firstborn. Joseph was sent to Egypt, but God had better plans. Moses in Pharaoh’s court, we just covered that. The Passover, the crossing of the Red Sea on dry land, it says in the book of Hebrews chapter 11. The destruction of Pharaoh’s army.
Lookup for just a second. A lot of people say wait a minute. What part of the Red Sea did they cover? There are all these different videos you can get where they’re finding chariot wheels on the floor of the Red Sea that are 3,500 years old. I don’t know if any of those things are real, but I do know that God made the wet ground dry, so the children of Israel walked on dry ground when they crossed what God describes as the Red Sea. The Hebrew word yam suph could mean the reed Sea. It could have been just a swamp. I’ve seen Charlton Heston with the 50 foot high walls of water, and I think there’ve been more movies about Moses and the gods of Egypt, all these movies. The Bible doesn’t say exactly where they went through, but it says two things. All of Pharaoh’s army was drowned and wiped out by the water. That’s one.
Two, when the Jewish people, the children of Israel walked through, the ground they walked on was dry. That was a miracle. To dry out instantly the bottom of a pond, a lake, a gully that was swampy with reeds. That’s a miracle. Do you know what the bigger miracle is? I’ve read these unbelieving liberal Bible commentators that say that they walked through water that was about ankle deep. It could have been, and God moved it to the side so that a hundred people wide could walk at a time. That’s how big the children of Israel had to walk, about a hundred wide and about several miles long, to get 3 million of them. What’s amazing is the water that piled up, even if it was only this thick, drowned an entire army on chariots. That’s the second miracle. Don’t quibble over how deep the water was. Magnify the God who dried the ground and drowned the army.
Back to the slides. Jericho’s walls were flattened. Rahab’s conversion, and boy I don’t have time to go into that, but if you go back to Joshua, God wanted Rahab. That’s the whole story that you read there. The exploits of Samson and Samuel and David’s life. Look at this. This may be the most far-ranging chapter in the Bible. It all comes down to faith that pleases God. Remember verse 6, “without faith it’s impossible to please Him.” God wants us to seek Him.
In my third part of my summary, all these heroes of faith struggled, and boy, they did. Noah got drunk, that whole thing. Joseph egged his brothers on, and Jacob, the deceiver. Moses the murderer. Look at this, not only did they have personal struggles, they had those struggles through some of the worst, darkest, and most dangerous days of human history. How do you make it through dark, horrible, dangerous days? By faith. That’s what this whole chapter is about. “But without faith it’s impossible to please Him.”
What’s faith? Trusting His word. If we analyze their world and the world each of us lives in, we find great similarities. Their world was busy. They were building pyramids and all that stuff with Joseph. When Abraham went through all the other nations around in the famine, more than time permits each day, that’s what they had, a busy life. That’s what busyness is, there’s more to do than time permits. It’s also distracting. Remember what it said about Moses? He chose affliction with the people of God over all the treasures, the distracting alluring treasures. Many things draw and tug at our minds, trying to get our attention even today. That world was also evil. You know what? There’s darkness pressing around our hearts and souls each moment as the last days breathe down upon us.
Next, the fourth and final part of my summary. God offers each of us a secret that keeps us powerfully godly in a busy, distracting, and evil world. Living, walking, and serving by simple faith, taking God at His word. Wow. The question is, are you interested? Are you interested in this powerful, godly method God has for us to live for Him? God offers a proven technique. He’s got all these men and women and prophets that it worked for. It has always worked. It works in any time. Any place under any pressure. For some, it sounds too good to be true, but for others, it’s even worse than that. For most believers, simple faith is too hard to even be considered. Do you know why? They’re distracted. They’re busy with everything, but God. Distracted by everything around them and getting infected by this evil world we live in.
Hebrews 11 gives us God’s secret for living through any period of Earth’s history, even the worst times. Lookup for a second and I would challenge you that the world that perished had no time for God. You and I are living in a time when most people have endless time for this. They can listen to music, look at their pictures, communicate with their friends, post everything in the world that’s going on, play games, order and shop, and do everything else on their personal digital devices. They all say, I just don’t have time to read the Bible. Do you know what I like to do? I have practiced this for a long time. You have a choice in life. This morning, I got up, grabbed my cell phone off its charging cradle, put it in my pocket and I grabbed the word of God. I chose instead of first seeking everything in the universe on this digital device, I sought to hear the voice of God through this, His word. You know what? You have a choice every day. Are you going to seek first everything, but God, or are you going to seek God first before everything else?
Early on before there were cell phones, do you know what I used to do? I used to put my Bible on the keyboard of my computer and then when I had a laptop and it was closed, I put my Bible on top of my laptop. Do you know what it was saying? It was a subtle message to me. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness” and then everything else. First God. That’s what I want to remind you, to have time for God.
Back to the slides. God’s secret for living through any period of Earth’s history, including today, which is the worst of times is in Hebrews 11. Here are the lessons that I wrote down in my journal. Faith is huge to God, verses 1 and 2. God framed the universe from nothing. In other words creation, in Genesis 1 and 2 terms, is vital to God. The Bible tells us Jesus created everything and that’s in Colossians 1, John 1, 1 John 1, all talk about Jesus as creator and right here in Hebrews 11:3. “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God.” That’s vital to God.
Number three, God remembers what we offer, and our life speaks after we’re gone. That’s verse 4. What I wrote in my Bible is that Abel’s life was about sacrificing for God. Think of Abel. He lived with his flocks. He was seeking the Creator of the universe and when he did what the Creator asked for, he died for his testimony. He sacrificed not only a lamb, he sacrificed his own life because his righteous life made his brother angry. Cain rose up in the field and killed his brother Abel. Our lives can please God. Hebrews 11:5 says that Enoch pleased God by faith and he walked with God. God always rewards faith. People might not know you have faith in Him and His Word, but God knows and He’ll reward it. God wants faith, seeks faith, responds to faith, and rewards faith and we see that illustrated in Enoch’s life. Enoch lived in one of the worst times in history. In fact, his description of the time just before the flood is the ungodliest verse in the whole Bible.
Go back to my Bible and look over here. We’re in Hebrews. I want to take you to Jude so go to Revelation and backup one book. Hebrews, Jude. There we go. Verse 14, “Now Enoch,” right here. Let me get my pointer. “The seventh from Adam.” Oh, look what I wrote. There are no gaps in the genealogy. The New Testament says that Enoch was the seventh from the first human. Okay. God believes in creation and His word is true. “Prophesied about these men also, saying,” and this is the first prophecy in the Bible. This is from the time of Genesis 5. “Behold, the Lord comes with 10 thousands of His saints.” The Greek is not the literal word 10,000, it’s myriads of His saints, but 10,000 is like the biggest number they could think of. “To execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds, which they have committed in an ungodly way, of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” That’s Jude chapter 1 verses 14 and 15.
Look over here at the slide. This is one of the ungodliest verses because four times it says ungodly, but what does it describe? The time just before the flood. It was one of the ungodliest times in history until our time until the End of Days and the Anti-Christ. Look what Enoch did. He walked with God. Wow. We could just stop right there, but let’s keep going. Our world is so much like the world that perished in the flood. It’s busy, distracting, and evil. Life today is busy, right? There’s more to do than time permits in life. Today is distracting. Many things are drawing and tugging at our minds like our digital devices and our fast-paced world and all the media and entertainment and amusements. It’s trying to get our attention when God says, you know what? Matthew 6:33, I want you to seek Me first. I want your attention above everything else. Life today is also evil. There is a darkness that’s pressing in around our hearts and our souls. Every moment as the last days breathe down upon us. It’s really an evil, dark time we live in.
Back to the lessons in my journal. My sixth lesson as I read this week each day, actually the last two weeks. As I read the words of verse 7, Noah feared and obeyed God. He’s a hero of the faith because he obeyed God. Then we go to Abraham. He waited for Heaven instead of getting all of his pleasures here on Earth. Abraham, by the way, from when God called him, always lived in a tent. He never built anything but altars. He never owned anything but a grave. Remember, Abraham waited for God’s city. There are two truths to remember about him. Abraham never owned anything, but a grave for Sarah. Number two, he never built anything but altars. That’s what tent dwellers were like. He was always on the move. Nothing was permanent. Why? Because his life was a Pilgrim waiting for Heaven, waiting for God’s city.
The eighth lesson I learned is that faith strengthened Sarah. Sarah joined the list because she trusted God. I wrote in my Bible, Noah’s life, he obeyed God’s plan even though the whole world was ending. Even though Noah had to work for a hundred years, building a boat, and the whole time his mind was on the Lord. I hope you have time to think about God. In Genesis, when you’re reading about Cain and Abel and look at Enoch and Noah, it lists deadly evils that mark that the world got destroyed. They were restless, empty, godless, and arrogant. Those are all things we should avoid.
The world that perished, the ones that were flooded in Noah’s flood, had no time for God. The entire world had come to the dangerously deadly state of having no time for God. God has told us that one of the final stages of terminal cancer for the soul is when humans have no place for their Creator in their hearts and minds or lives. Paul explains this condition in Romans 1. Remember we already covered that a few weeks ago. Because they were not willing to retain God in their minds God gave them up. Now think, that’s very sobering. Do you make time for God? Have you made time for Him today? You’re watching this video, but are you going to make time to listen to Him and His word as a regular habit? Is His word on your mind? Do you seek Him daily? Remember Matthew 4:4 says that we’re supposed to find the word of God to be more than our necessary food. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Then it says that we are to, as Matthew 6:33 says, seek first His righteousness. We need to make time for God, or we’ll be like the world that perished with no time for God.
God waited for them. 1 Peter 3:20 reminds us that the long-suffering of God waited during the long years of Noah building the Ark, that hundred years. In this age of grace, God is still long-suffering, but the signs of the end times are everywhere. As we’ve seen in this series when we were in Zechariah, when we were in Matthew, in 1 Thessalonians, the question remains for us. Are we ready to face the future unafraid? Remember those who are wise walk with God. The first step in any person’s walk with God is to believe the Gospel. Christ died for your sins. He rose from the dead that you might be saved. He is the Ark of safety. If you’ve never trusted in Christ, why not?
Let me show you something because I don’t think a lot of people think about this. I don’t know if I have any room here, but let me just show you the Ark. This is the Ark, I’m not an artist. Okay. There’s the Ark. The distinguishing thing about the Ark is right here. It had one door and it was the only safe place. The only way that you got inside is when God invited you. It says that when you read. If you have time this week and if you’re looking at all those passages and you read about the Ark in Genesis 6 through 8, God says build one door. By the way, that door did not have a handle on it. It says that God closed the door and sealed it and that they could not let anybody else in. It was a door that God controlled. Do you know what it says in the Bible in John 10, do you know what Jesus said? I am the door of salvation. I’m the door of the sheepfold. I’m the only way you can come to God. There’s no other way under Heaven given among men by which you must be saved other than Me, Jesus said.
What does that tell us from God’s word? That the Ark was the only place of safety. I call it the Ark of safety and the Ark of safety for us is Jesus Christ. There’s only one way in, He is the door. It’s the only safe place. Everybody outside the Ark was destroyed by the flood. Everybody inside the Ark was safe and secure. All the people, the aged souls, and all the animals. Every one of them, it says in Genesis 8 when you read it, that every person and animal that went into the Ark came out of the Ark safely. None were lost in the voyage, that didn’t make it, that died of something. I think about people in this Omicron stage of COVID and they’re just so worried. They’re doing everything to protect their own life and yes, we should take care of ourselves, but my fate, my life, the length of my days is not in the hands of some physician or some pathogen. It’s in the hands of God and He has appointed how long I live. Nothing I can do can extend it or cut it short. Okay. That’s the Ark of safety in Christ and God invites us. Like I just told you, Jesus offers. He’s the doorway and His arms are open wide.
For some of you, this might be the first time you’ve ever watched the 52 Greatest Chapters and you’re still with us and you’ve never called on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I hope that you will today if you haven’t. I hope that you’ll trust Jesus Christ as your Ark of safety. The One that died on the cross suffering the penalty of your sin. If you will call out to Him and say, Lord Jesus, I’m a sinner. I agree with You. I believe You died on the cross as the only payment for my sin and I cry out to You to save. I call that the ABCs of salvation. Agree with God that you’re a sinner, believe Christ is the only hope, and cry out to Him. He said, whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Back to the slides. If you haven’t trusted Christ, why not today? In Abraham’s life, he believed God’s word. Can you imagine living in a tent and camping for 100 years? That’s what he did from age 75, that’s how old he was in Genesis 16 until he died in Genesis 25 at 175. He lived in a tent because he believed in God’s Word. Sarah waited for God’s timing all those years with no child, and then she had the son of God’s promise.
I found more lessons. God’s preparing a place for all of us who believe. Hebrews 13 summarizes them. They saw, were assured, embraced, and confessed that they were looking for God’s plan in Heaven. God tested Abraham to see if he would obey. God used the patriarchs through hard and dangerous times. Even today we can call on the name of the Lord. I know some of you do, I get notes from you. One man just wrote to me and said, hey, I’ve been in church all my life and I’m in this study and my whole life has changed and my wife thinks I’d become a Christian. Just because you get saved, it doesn’t make everything perfect around you. They still lived in hard and dangerous times and so do we. They had dangerous, troubled, disappointing times with painful long waits and big sacrifices. The blessing is that God goes through it with us. We’re together as we face life. Alluring sins can be resisted by faith. Moses who has the most verses in this chapter, seven verses about him to be exact, walked by faith and resisted Egypt to follow God and save God’s people.
God used Joshua. God wanted Rahab. God’s aware of all of our struggles and God has a special promise for us as the chapter ends with Moses. I wrote in my Bible that he could see God clearly. When you see God clearly, all the glittering wealth, the power, and the pleasures of this world, like Egypt, don’t dim your view of God. Moses endured, seeing Him who’s invisible. Rahab, you know what I love about her? She feared God most. More than her culture. We’re living in a time when our lives are out of step with our culture. More than her neighbors. Rahab lived in a time when her neighbors had joined walls next to her. Yet she made a choice that she was going to fear God more than her culture, her neighbors, and the entire life she’d ever known. She embraced and clung to the Lord. What a testimony that is.
We’ve come to the best part, the application prayer. Let me offer this to the Lord now. This is my prayer after two weeks of reading this. I summarized it today into this little paragraph. Lord, I want to see You reflected perfectly in Christ. I want to understand Your amazing power of creation. I want to offer what pleases You like Abel and walk in simple faith like Enoch. I want to be moved to obey even when the world is going against You, like Noah. I want to obey as Abraham did as a Pilgrim and stranger. I want to trust You like Sarah. I want to confess You like all of them did. Offer like Abraham, and bless like Jacob, and instruct my family as Joseph did, and refuse sin like Moses, and trust You like Rahab. I want to stay faithful like the rest of them. I want to believe, follow, and obey and see You at work in my life. I want You working through me like You worked through Joshua and not even be named. You notice Joshua’s name is not in Hebrews 11. It just says that he obeyed God, but it doesn’t say his name, so that You get all the credit. That’s my prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.
I have two final challenges before I summarize this lesson on the boards. Number one, I say this every week and I’m reading your comments and I know you’re doing it. Find someone. Don’t go through this class alone. Find someone at work or school or in your home or in your hall or your dorm or in your neighborhood that you can share your findings with. Be so animated and excited about this that they’ll say sure, I want to know about it. Before long, when they see God changing you, they might want to join your study.
Finally, pray for us. Bonnie and I just finished our 2022 plan. We have so much before us. I just taught in the Asia Pacific region, a conference there, but our ministry is in Sub-Sahara Africa and the Muslim world in the Middle East and Central Europe. We work with the refugees. We work in east Asia. Much of it during this COVID time has been online classes, but we’re getting back on the road and we’re going to leave in just about six weeks for three more months. This is my wonderful wife, Bonnie and this is me feeling all the years that have gone by. We’re asking you to pray for us as we equip and mobilize the least-reached peoples of Asia, Europe, and Africa through next-generation students.
Look up and I’ll go through all the stuff that’s written on the board. You’re starting into Hebrews 11, which is one of the monumental chapters of the Bible. Remember there are no prehistoric times for Earth because God has written down the history. It’s God’s record of Son powered, that’s Son of God, Lord Jesus, who made it through the darkest days, which are so much like our times: busy, distracting, and evil. The world that perished had no time for God. We need to make time for God. Which is going to be what you seek first, everything else, or God?
Here are the lessons. This is what I pray and what Bonnie’s praying God does in your heart this week. As you take your journal and write notes, as you read through Hebrews 11 each day and write these down, faith is huge with God. It should be big in our lives. God framed the universe from unseen things. I am a literal creationist, that God did what He says. That in six literal solar days He created everything. How do I know that? Because He told Moses in the 10 commandments that as God created the world in six days and rested the seventh, you should work in Egypt doing all of your work and in the wilderness wanderings and when you get to Israel, work for six days and rest the seventh. Do you know what He said there? I created the whole universe in six solar days like you’re experiencing now. God remembers our life so even if no one else does, He does. Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing your labor is not in vain in the Lord. No one may see that Gospel tract that you share with someone. No one may see the work you do at the church in the nursery, teaching Sunday school, singing in the choir, sharing the Gospel and people mock you. No one, but God and He remembers.
Our lives can please God. Did you know, I got up this morning and I said, Lord, I just want to please You today. That’s a great way to start. I step into that circle. I say I surrender to You. I want my life to please You. God’s preparing a place for us. Don’t spend your whole life trying to build a dream house. Send materials, building materials to Heaven. Alluring sins can be resisted by faith. Moses had before him the opportunity to live in pleasure and decadence and everything else and he said, no, because I see God and I want to seek Him first. That’s how faith can give us the strength, the grace to deny ungodliness.
Finally, God is aware of all the struggles we’re going through. He’s acquainted with them, Hebrews 2 says. Jesus understands our temptations. He says, just reach out to Me. My prayer is you’ll reach out to God this week in Hebrews chapter 11. Without faith it’s impossible to please Him, but God is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. That’s why, as I said, if you want to deepen your understanding, I spent an entire year teaching these 30 weeks of classes. Hungering for God should be the hallmark of our life. Have a great week. See you back next week. Thanks for going through the Bible with us.
Check Out All The Sermons In The Series
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