Hard times will come, but Christ is greater than our hard times – Hebrews #8

Hard times will come, but Christ is greater than our hard times

Hebrews 12:4-29

Intro:

         The Jewish Christians thought life couldn’t get worse, their homes were seized, they were mocked, and were persecuted.

         A lot of Christians think that their life is extremely hard here on earth.  Let me ask you a question, are you dying for you faith because you refuse to stop serving God boldly and faithfully everyday?  It could always be worse, and it will be someday soon.

         The Jewish Christians couldn’t understand why life was so hard.  Is life hard for you?  Why?  Are you persecuted?  Do you ever wonder why life is so hard, or why hardships come?

         What would you do for a Klondike bar?  People in that commercial did a lot of stupid things.  If someone took your home, mocked you publicly, and persecuted you; would you reject/deny/leave Jesus? 

         This is what happened to these Hebrew Christians previously (10:32-34), and in the near future people were going to kill some of them for their faith.  Do you love this life and its pleasures more than Christ?

I)                   Who is your Daddy? (4-10)

a.      It is not as bad as it could be (4-6)

                                                               i.      They aren’t being killed yet (4)

                                                             ii.      Don’t lose heart when you are disciplined (5)

1.      God is growing/teaching them through this persecution

                                                            iii.      God disciplines/teaches/instructs those that He loves, His children(6)

b.      If you belong to God, you will be disciplined/instructed (7-8)

                                                               i.      “Stay under” (hupomeno) the discipline, we are His sons (7)

1.      This is not happening as a result of them sinning

2.      Because they belong to God, this is happening

3.      God is not unhappy with them

                                                             ii.      If your life has no discipline from God, you aren’t His (8)

1.      God grows those that are His

2.      So expect it to come

c.      He disciplines/instructs/teaches us for our own good (9-10)

                                                               i.      If we listened to our earthly fathers who disciplined/taught us, we should live in obedience to God who is our Father

                                                             ii.      They did their best as humans, God disciplines/teaches us perfectly, so we will be conformed to the image of Christ (10)

II)                 Don’t give up, cling to Christ (11-17)

a.      Discipline conforms us to the image of Christ (11)

                                                               i.      This discipline (in this case persecution) in the long run grows us spiritually, making us more like Jesus

                                                             ii.      Romans 5:3-5

b.      If the spiritually mature do not persevere, then all those that are weak will leave (12-13)

                                                               i.      Whatever is wrong with your body (persecution), strengthen it (pray, cling to Christ)(12)

                                                             ii.      This is so the lame (unsaved in the church) will not be put out of joint (return to Judaism) but be healed (accept Christ)

c.      Obey God in your life (14)

                                                               i.      Pursue (dioko) – “to run swiftly, to catch some person or thing, to run after, to press on”

1.      Going after peace with others, and spiritual growth (sanctification)

                                                             ii.      Do not be causing more problems for those that are wavering, help them

                                                            iii.      Sanctification – obedience, spiritual growth

d.      Don’t throw away your eternal blessings in Christ for temporal things (15-17)

                                                               i.      Some will apostasize, don’t let them drag others away too (defiling many) (16)

                                                             ii.      There are some among you that will leave in an instant (16)

1.      Watch out for these people, and protect others from them

                                                            iii.      If they leave Christ now, they will not have any chance for true repentance to receive the blessings (salvation) later

III)              Mt. Zion is better than Mt. Sinai (18-24)

a.      Mt. Sinai was scary (18-21)

                                                               i.      Sinai was earthly (18)

                                                             ii.      It was loud and they didn’t want to hear anymore (19)

                                                            iii.      If anything or anyone touched Sinai, they must be killed (20)

                                                           iv.      It was enough to scare Moses (21)

b.      Mt. Zion is God’s home

                                                               i.      Zion is heavenly (22)

                                                             ii.      It is a joyous gathering (23)

1.      General assembly-used to describe a party, or festal gathering

2.      Church of the firstborn-those who trusted God by faith, receive the blessings of the firstborn/Jesus Christ (all the best stuff)

3.      To God the Judge of all

4.      Spirits of the righteous made perfect-saved people

                                                            iii.      Jesus is the mediator of the New Covenant (24)

1.      Sprinkled blood of Christ is better than that of Abel

a.       Abel’s blood brought judgment, Christ’s blood bring complete cleansing

IV)              Judgment is guaranteed for those that deny/leave Christ (25-29)

a.      Those who rejected Moses (angels mediated the first covenant) were judged, we will face more severe consequences for rejecting Christ (the greater of the two) (25)

                                                               i.      “See to it” – present imperative (a command to continually do something) so that they don’t reject or ignore what Christ’s blood does for them

                                                             ii.      “Turn away” – present participle (speaking of action that was presently occurring), there were some that were leaving Christ to return to temple sacrifices

b.      God shook the earth then, next time He is going to shake everything that can be shaken (26-27) (Haggai 2:6)

                                                               i.      Earth- Zech. 14:4-5; Rev. 6:12; 11:13; 16:18; 18)

Heaven-Rev. 6:12-17; 8:12

                                                             ii.      Removing of things that can be shaken (27)

1.      “Removing” – metithemi, to transfer to a new basis, to transpose, to change” this is the removal of the curse

c.      Our kingdom is unshakeable, give the credit, respect, reverence, glory, and fear due to Him (28-29)

                                                               i.      God’s Kingdom will stand – and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (28a)

                                                             ii.      Reverence – deos “timid apprehension of danger”, recognize that He is a holy God (28b)

                                                            iii.      God is a consuming fire (29)

1.      Deut. 4:24 – symbols of His consuming holiness that destroys all persistent inexcusable evil

a.       For those that leave Christ, this will be what they face

Conclusion:

I)                   Who is your Daddy? (4-10)

II)                Don’t give up, cling to Christ (11-17)

III)              Mt. Zion is better than Mt. Sinai (18-24)

IV)             Judgment is guaranteed for all those that leave Christ (25-29)

         Do you have a personal relationship with God the Father through God the Son?

         Are you ready to give on the “Christian life”?  I know there are some out there that are planted by Satan to draw others away.  I pray that God grants you repentance, but you will be judged severely for your actions.

         Mt. Zion (Heaven) doesn’t it sound so great, will you be there someday?  Do you know Christ?  Better yet, does Christ know you?

         If you say that you know Christ, and you leave Him/deny Him, so that persecution will stop, He will judge you/punish you severely.

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