Hebrews: Encouragement to Remain Faithful

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: Hebrews 10:19-25


I.         The book of Hebrews interleaves evidence of the superiority of Christ, His covenant, and His church with encouragement to the brethren to remain faithful.

            A.        After giving evidence that Jesus is God’s son, the writer said - Hebrews 2:1-4

            B.        Jesus was a faithful son and so must we be faithful - Hebrews 3:5-4:11

            C.        Because Jesus shared our humanity, we can have confidence - Hebrews 4:15-16

            D.        Being a Christian requires continued growth - Hebrews 5:12-6:6

            E.        Being a Christian requires diligence - Hebrews 6:9-12

            F.        After extensive proof that Christ’s law was a superior covenant that replaced the Mosaical law, the writer said - Hebrews 10:19-39

II.        Chapter 11 is called the hero’s of faith, but it fits in with the writer’s theme of encouragement to remain faithful

            A.        By using examples from the Old Testament, the writer addresses the excuses so many of us give as to why we fall short.

            B.        Abel - Hebrews 11:4

                        1.         Abel remained faithful despite the fact that his own brother did not like his righteous behavior

                        2.         Some give up because of family pressure.

                                    a.         They don’t like how bad you make them look, so they demand that you change

                        3.         Abel remained faithful even though it cost him his life

            C.        Enoch - Hebrews 11:5

                        1.         Here is response to the argument “Well, I’m only human.”

                        2.         We convince ourselves that we must fall short because everyone sins, so why fight it.

                        3.         I’m not saying that Enoch was sinless, but here is a man who managed to please God sufficiently enough to avoid death.

                                    a.         A rarity, true

                                    b.         But still Enoch shows it was possible

            D.        Noah - Hebrews 11:7

                        1.         Far too many cave to peer-pressure.

                        2.         In a world completely given over to sin, Noah remained faithful and saved his own family

            E.        Abraham - Hebrews 11:8

                        1.         Like Noah, Abraham was asked to trust God concerning things he could not see.

                        2.         Have you met people that say, “if you can prove it to my satisfaction, then I’ll change.” The problem is that you never manage to gather enough evidence.

            F.        Sarah - Hebrews 11:11-12

                        1.         Even when it looked impossible, Sarah, trusted God because He promised.

            G.        Pilgrims - Hebrews 11:13-16

                        1.         I have known several who gave up because they didn’t receive benefits.

                        2.         The changes didn’t happen soon enough for them or they didn’t occur

                        3.         “If I don’t get something out of it now, why bother?”

            H.        Abraham - Hebrews 11:17-19

                        1.         Here is the answer to “God asks too much” or “Its too hard”

                        2.         Isaac was the one God promised to Abraham. He was the one the future hung upon. Yet, God asked Abraham to kill him.

            I.         Isaac, Jacob, Joseph - Hebrews 11:20-22

                        1.         “I just don’t see any future in it.”

                        2.         Far too many of us live in the “now.” We don’t see what can be and will be if we just remain faithful.

            J.         Moses - Hebrews 11:23-26

                        1.         So many return to the world because of its immediate gratification.

                        2.         Moses chose hardship over pleasure and riches.

            K.        Moses - Hebrews 11:27

                        1.         “Its illegal”

                        2.         While Christianity is allowed for the most part, people cave when the government opposes the truth

            L.        Moses - Hebrews 11:28

                        1.         “God is too harsh”

                        2.         How many compromise the faith because they cannot believe that God would really send people to hell?

            M.       The Israelites - Hebrews 11:29-30

                        1.         Many people act as if God demands too much of them.

                        2.         They want the benefits, they want the results, but they think it is unreasonable for God to ask them to play a part in gaining of it.

            N.        Rahab - Hebrews 11:31

                        1.         “I have had too sinful of a past.”

                        2.         We excuse our future bad behavior because we were bad in the past or because bad things happened to us in the past.

                        3.         They think that it isn’t worth trying to change, so they never do.

III.       Now, tell me again why you can’t remain faithful - Hebrews 11:39-12:3

            A.        The hardships we might face are for our benefit - Hebrews 12:4-13

            B.        Don’t become bitter and sink into immorality - Hebrews 12:14-17

            C.        Don’t refuse God - Hebrews 12:25-29

IV.      Sometimes encouragement can chafe - Hebrews 13:20-22

            A.        But it is what we need to hear.

            B.        We need to keep pushing on to the goal

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