God Will Keep His Promises!
4 August 2019 AM – Hebrews 10:32-39 – Heb19 – Scott Childs
Introduction: When Jesus ascended back into heaven, the angels gave this promise to the disciples. (Acts 1:11) “…Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” (Chart) When Christ does return, He will take believers to heaven, judge the world with 7 years of Tribulation, and then set up His 1,000-year millennial kingdom. After that, Christians will spend eternity with the Lord in the New Heaven and New Earth He will create.
Nearly 2,000 years have passed since the day He ascended and still He has not yet returned. The devil wants you to doubt that Christ will ever return. The devil is a liar. God never lies!
Transition: In our text this morning, the apostle gives us three instructions we must follow when the devil tempts us to doubt that God will keep His promises.
The first instruction we must follow when tempted to doubt is…
1. Remember Your First Confidence, v.32-35
a. Remember the former days
1) Many of Paul’s readers had endured harsh persecutions after coming to Christ, v.32-34.
2) During those early days, they gladly suffered for Christ knowing that they had “in heaven a better and an enduring substance.”
3) The hymn, “When We See Christ” reflects their confidence. Read lyrics, Great Hymns of the Faith, pg. 149
4) Recall the zeal you had when you first trusted Christ. As time passes, it is easy to get weary of waiting for Christ to come, take us to heaven, remove life’s hardships, and give us the eternal inheritance in heaven that He promised.
b. Keep your former confidence, v.35
1) Our confidence is that cheerful courage, fearless confidence, boldness and assurance enjoyed by new Christians.
2) Do not cast it away. Do not throw it down. Do not lose that former zeal.
3) It has great recompence of reward. In other words, it has a great payment of wages. God promises to reward all that Christians do for His glory. (1 Corinthians 15:58) “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (Galatians 6:9) “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
4) Remember what Peter told us, (1 Peter 1:3-5) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” Again Peter wrote, (2 Peter 3:9) “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
O When tempted to doubt God’s promises, remember your first confidence.
The second instruction we must follow when tempted to doubt is…
2. Be Patient, v.36-37
a. We need patience or endurance.
1) Rather than casting away our confidence, we must patiently endure.
2) Like first century Christians, our brothers and sisters in Christ who live in North Korea, China, Russia and other communist and Muslim countries are suffering greatly for their faith in Christ.
3) Folks, we may face some verbal abuse of we testify for Christ, yet we know very little about severe hardships, but they may be coming.
4) When persecution comes, we must patiently endure it for Christ. Sometimes persecution is God’s will.
5) If we will faithfully do the will of God, we will one day receive the promise (v.36). One day we will rest from the hardships of this life with the Lord in heaven. Amen!
b. He that shall come will come.
1) The Apostle was looking for Christ’s imminent return at any moment. Read verse 37. He expected the coming of Christ and the commencement of God’s future promises in a very little time. He will not delay (though it may seem like it to us). Time is not an issue with God. He lives outside of time.
2) Christ promised that He would come again to take believers to heaven. (John 14:3) “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” The Apostle Paul wrote of Christ’s promised coming. (1 Corinthians 15:52) “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
O When tempted to doubt God’s promises, be patient!
The third instruction we must follow when tempted to doubt is…
3. Live by Faith, v.38-39
a. God said that the just shall live by faith.
1) This is a quote from Habakkuk 2:4. Not only do the just (righteous) live eternally by means of their faith, but the just must live this life by faith.
2) The promises of God are not visible. (2 Corinthians 5:7) “(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)” (Romans 8:24-25) “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”
3) Therefore, the Christian life is a life of faith. It is not a leap in the dark. We have a Bible full of examples of God’s past faithfulness. Yet we must live by faith because we cannot see the future. We only see God’s promises.
4) Living by faith is obeying the Bible and living for the glory of God even when we cannot yet see any tangible benefits. Next week, Lord willing, we will begin Hebrews 11, which is a record of 18 named Old Testament saints plus host of unnamed saints who lived life by faith though they never received God’s final promise.
b. We are not of them that draw back.
1) The term “draw back” refers to the timidity of one stealthily retreating. It is quietly or secretly leaving the battle and running to safer ground.
2) The Apostle said, “We are not of them who draw back unto perdition.” The word translated “perdition” has several definitions including waste, destruction or eternal ruin each depending on the context.
a) If an unbeliever who is considering salvation in Christ draws back because of fear of persecution, this word may refer to eternal ruin or destruction.
b) However, if a true Christian draws back then the word must refer to a wasted life and loss of reward. No true Christian can lose his salvation.
3) Do not give up hope. Christ will return. God will fulfil every promise He has made. His character depends on it. We must cling to the truth of Titus 1:2. “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;”
4) If your faith is wavering, study the lives of God’s saints listed in Hebrews 11 who lived by faith.
Conclusion: God will keep His promises! When tempted to doubt it, 1) Remember your first confidence as a new Christian; 2) Be patient; and 3) Live by faith. Faithfully live for the Lord’s glory, believing that He will return and take you to heaven as He promised.
If you are not positive you are a true Christian, now is the time to settle that issue. Do not draw back and walk away from God’s salvation and promises. Believe them by faith.
Song: Jesus Is Coming Again, 151