Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at The New Covenant P22 (07-13-21)
Where is your confidence placed? Is it placed in our possessions? They could all be burned up in a fire. It could be here today and gone tomorrow. In your job? You could be fired tomorrow? You could be replaced by a smarter, younger employee, or a dictator could come to power and take all your land away. So what is the power of confidence we have who are in Christ Jesus?
32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37. For,
“In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.”[Isaiah 26:20; Habbakuk 2:3]
“But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.”[Habbakuk 2:4]
39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.
Have you faced ridicule and persecution? Have you been misunderstood by those you tried to help? Have you felt all alone in a world and felt as if there are no true believers around? Have your closest of friends left you? Does your family even know you, or have they rejected you since you left their religion? Are you considered a crazy person, an extremist by the world, for you stand on what you know to be true? Are you like a citizen of another country, where this place is not your home? In all of this, can you boldly approach God for help in time of need? Did He say He would never leave you nor forsake you? Do you believe Him?
God is pleased with our faith in Him, who is our life, our provision, our everything we need for life and godliness. Can you joyfully accept the confiscation of your property knowing that you have a lasting and greater possession, where moth and rust cannot destroy and where thieves cannot break in and steal? Do you know that your confidence will be richly rewarded, if not in this life, but in the one to come? But even in this life, our life is not in the abundance of our possessions, for you have eternal life living in you. You have allowed Christ to reign in your heart by faith, and in that there is the fruit of the Spirit, that does not depend on anything of this world or of you to produce, but Christ Himself, the joy that does not depend on circumstances, a peace that surpasses understanding, a love that can forgive your enemies, a patience toward those without understanding, a kindness to those who are all so undeserving, as we all are, a gentleness that cannot be explained any other way than by the power of Christ in you. Let us be an overcomer as God called us to be. He said to be of good cheer for He has overcome the world, and He is now alive living in you, if you are a child of God.
You could literally spend the rest of your life studying chapter 10 in Hebrews and never fully come to the depth of the total meaning of it and the joy it brings from an understanding of it. Those are verses of tremendous encouragement and confidence. I will call these lessons the power of confidence.
19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,
So it is talking about having confidence.
35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
So confidence is something that we all need. We need to be confident in what we say that we know. If I was saying to you that I am confident of something, that God demands we keep the law totally, I would be a total hypocrite. I cannot keep the law totally.
Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
Yet we have those who are still out teaching the law, knowing full well that they themselves are not obedient to what they are teaching. There is no confidence in their eternal life. Those kinds of people teach you that you can lose what God says you cannot lose.
You have to walk with confidence in something. Our confidence is not in us. It is confidence in Him. Because of my confidence in Him, I am able, since we have the confidence to enter the Holy Place, for He told me that I can do so, calling Him Daddy, Father, and to receive mercy in time of need, then I have confidence in that truth. I have confidence in what He has told me. “Bob, I have taken your sins and put them on the back of God, never to see them again. I am not dealing with you on the basis of sin today. If I was, I would have to be dealing with you on the basis of sin and death. I am not dealing with you on the basis of the law. You have been freed from the law of sin and death by the law of life. That is why there is no condemnation awaiting you who belong to Christ Jesus.” I am going to stand confident in that because that is what He made me and that is what He told me.
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
He wants us to stand confident, not wavering back and forth, not being torn back and forth by every wind of doctrine. But to be confident in those truths. As a result of that confidence, He told us to consider something.
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
So let us meet together, not forsaking assembling ourselves together, to spur one another on toward love and good deeds, to be an encouragement to people, not to discourage or tear people down.
Let us turn to Hebrews 10:32.
32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light
I remember those early days coming to Christ for the first time. I would just hate to get into detail, for people to even know the detail of what my lifestyle was. It was not that it was the worst but it was certainly not the best, prior to knowing Christ Jesus. I did not live a sheltered life, and was basically a man of the world. I was taught that good guys finish last. So I started to learn how to be a tough guy. In business, I was tough and heartless. I was that way.
But there was something inside of me that was killing me. What was killing me inside was that I could not love. It wasn’t just what I was doing, but why can’t I love. We had a neighbor across the street in Whittaker, CA. He was a good family man. He played with his children. He acted like he loved his wife. It was not that I did not like Amy. I said to Amy many times, “I love you as much as I can love anybody but it is not very much.” I was being very honest and sincere. That does not prepare your wife for good times in the evening. But the issue is that is where I was. I was being extremely honest with Amy. It was not her fault. There is not anyone more worthy of loving than Amy. I loved my children deeply. That is as deep of a love I can get a hold of. But I could not feel the depth of that kind of love for some reason. I would look in the mirror and say, “What in the world is wrong with you? How come you cannot love like other people.” I was comparing myself with other people. “Why can’t you love like other people? ”
All of a sudden on that day I went out to San Bernardino, CA and met with Dr. Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ. Bill recognized my problem immediately. He asked if I ever knew Christ personally. It was verbiage unfamiliar to me even though I was in church all my life. He went through a presentation of the gospel. It was not his presentation. He just gave me a book and had me read the scriptures. As I read it, tears flowed down my face. God was there the whole time. He led me there. He was there as I was listening to the message, hearing something I had never heard before. A herd of elephants could not have kept me from talking to Bill Bright that day.
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
I was reading John 3:16 and other passages from The Four Spiritual Laws booklet.
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
10 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one
God had a solution to that and that is in His Son. Bill asked the question, “Either you are on the throne or Christ is on the throne?” “It is not Jesus on the throne of my life. I am.” “The issue is, ‘Do you want Him on the throne?”? I did.
I invited Jesus to come into my heart, to be my life, my Lord and Savior. I was excited. I started reading the bible and could not get out of it. I was getting up early in the morning, as early as 4:00 A.M., which was not usual for me. Just me and God and growing in grace. I was excited. I started going out on the Sunset strip, ministering to people strung out on drugs, giving speeches to CMC meetings all over southern California. I was bugging the daylights out of all my employees and my wholesale distributorship, leading most of them to Christ, and my salesmen, and people on the order desk and warehouse. I was sharing it with everybody who walked. I was never so excited about anything in all my life. Those days were quite memorable to me.
32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering.
Did that happen? Yes, it sure did. The people I was in business with who were manufacturers back East. They thought I got insane. Ultimately because of that it was the decision that was ultimately made to leave there, probably mutual, and to ultimately go into full time Christian work. There was a certain degree of a contest against what I was standing up for. People like that, in Beverly Hills, CA, a highly Jewish population. You are going to lose all your Jewish customers. The fact I found out was is they were more respectful to what I believed than so many of the so-called Gentiles. What I found out about Jewish people, “if it works for you, then praise God. It did not work for me, but if it works for you.” I did not find opposition from them. I did find opposition from many Gentile people.
33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult
That was true. For a period of time, there were a lot of people that began to think you are a tambourine shaker, that you have gone crazy. They thought that about Jesus. All of this is because you are excited about something that other people do not know what you are excited about. I remember after I went into full time Christian work and went over to Korea, Expo 74, and they had a duplication of what they did in America, a huge people that gather together for prayer. In Seoul, Korea there were a million people who came to pray. I was over there for that event. I heard some stories and saw some marvelous things take place. I came back from there so unbelievably excited. I remember that I was traveling with Campus Crusade at that time, and called a couple of friends of mine, a guy I knew quite well and a girl I dated when I was young. I was on fire. I took a deep breath and must have bored the daylights out of them. There were quite some comments about that conversation. I was plain excited. There was persecution and I was insulted but I was just excited about the Lord.
and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated.
You do find friends and mature together. After a while you have people standing with you. I lovingly think of our ministry. We have a group of people that we stand side by side with, as strong as horseradish in regard to what we know to be true. But on the other hand, there is a strong love and bond that is there and you cannot break it. Every staff member we work with, there is a closeness there and a bonding you do not have any place else. Thank God when we do run into insults and persecutions, we have people who stand side by side with us. The same to those of you who are listening today.
34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property
That would be one tough one. That is a tough thing. Why did he say that? Because that was taking place. These are people who obviously came to a knowledge of Christ Jesus, who came out into the open, and were exposed to insult and to persecution and confiscation of your property. I remember a story Amy had told me. The United States needs to open their eyes to what could take place. The things that took place in Communist Russia did not happen overnight. It happened a bite at a time. It ultimately came to this confiscation of property as people in government, and those are the ones doing it, by people thinking they are smarter than anyone else, who decided we should have collective farming. Ukraine is probably the most fertile soil on the face of the earth. When Amy and I went back over there, and went back to her home and it was still intact. One part had been blown up when the Germans came through but it had been rebuilt. It was a beautiful piece of property. Trees on it that unbelievably blossomed. A man there had grown strawberries. I had never tasted strawberries like that. He would put strawberries in a bag. By the time we got back from the field to the house, that bag was filled with over 2/3 juice. Unbelievable. We saw how that country was so fertile, yet people did not know how to farm it because of the government. They confiscated property. Amy had an uncle who ultimately committed suicide because he had worked all of his life to have his own livestock, his own farm and raised his own cattle, and in such times government comes and says it is ours now. He could not take it. I understand how someone could do that. You would be so angry inside, of the government coming in. Keep the government out of your house. The government was not meant to control every thought we have today. We are called to be people of freedom. We are called to govern ourselves. This is a biblical fact that we are to benefit from what we earn. It should not be a huge thing to understand that. If you do not work you do not eat. Teaching that today people think you are a bigot but it is true. Those are things we should know naturally.
If your property is confiscated, if that happened to us today, it says here to joyfully accept it. Why? Because you know that you yourselves have better and lasting possessions. When we think of what life is, our possessions are not the things that we have. Those things can be destroyed by fire. They can be destroyed by stealing, and it could be taken away in a minute. Everything we look at and see can be taken away. Everything we have in this building can go. Are these possessions that we have, how important are they? They are certainly nicer than not having any possessions. Having money is not the key to it but sure is nicer than not having money. But you have better possessions.
It is like man’s identity crisis. People are so proud of being a Jew. Or proud at being a Gentile. We as Gentiles, we get proud of being a Baptist, a Presbyterian, atheist or agnostic or whatever it might be. God came along and said, “I will make you into something brand new, a child of God. Jew, you are going to be a child of God, and Gentile, you are going to become a child of God.” That is the mystery that God says He will make the two into one, one new man called a child of the living God.
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace,
That to me is a lasting possession. That is a lasting identity. I am going to be one of those all my life and all through eternity. People want to hang onto this generational identity. There is nothing wrong with it, but it is not a big deal. You had nothing to do with being a Jew if you are, or being a Gentile if you are. But you did have something to accept or reject in becoming a child of God. When you came to the Lord Jesus Christ, you became a new creature.
2 Corinthians 5:17
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
Our attitude should cause us to look at life differently, again, in regard to our possessions. Our possessions, we cannot take one of them to heaven or hell with us. There is no uhaul on the back of a hearse. Everything you have, including clothing on your back, you are going to leave here one of these days, when you are absent from the body and present with the Lord. So look at our possessions in that light.
34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.
35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
How is your confidence richly rewarded. Because you are standing firm in something. You are standing in confidence in what is trustworthy and in who is trustworthy, and that is Christ Jesus and the word of God. When I am standing in the word of God, I am standing in confidence in what does not change. I am standing confident in the fact that I will be richly rewarded by standing firm in that.
I think of the girl that recently was in the Miss USA contest. This guy asked her the question in regard to gay marriage. She knew full well that her answer was going to determine whether she was going to win or lose. She went with the bible, to be biblically correct. Marriage should be between a man and a woman. He called her everything under the sun. This guy is a perverted homosexual. I say that because that is what homosexuality is, perversion. A perverted homosexual has the audacity to call a decent child of God, a girl in Christ, and call her a bitch. She stood strong and with confidence. Is she richly rewarded? You better believe it. She will have more contacts than the one who won. No one even knows who won. You can go back to this year and read about it on the internet.
36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
What has He promised us? When you are absent from this body, you are gone to be present with the Lord. You are going to live with me where you will never see death again. You will never see sin again. You will be totally in the presence of God for eternity. You will be here with loved ones who have come to Christ by faith. You have all of those phenomenal promises that you are seated in the heavenlies with Christ Jesus. You have all these wonderful promises that God has said this is for you. So God has persevered with that. When you have done the will of God, to believe in the one who was sent, Jesus Christ, when you have done the will of God, you stood strong in here.
“In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.”[Isaiah 26:20; Hab. 2:3]
To God, He is not on our time schedule. It looks like saying it has been a long time. It is just like a couple of days to Him.
“But my righteous one [Jesus] will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.”[Hab. 2:4 ]
We have been declared righteous by the righteous one. He made me righteous. I am not righteous in and of myself. Jesus made me that way. When God looks at me, He is going to say, “My righteous one.” That is one who lives by faith.
39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.
In other words, without faith it is impossible to please God. God is not pleased when we are shrinking back from who we say we have believed in. It could be that I am shrinking back because of who I said I believed in but I have never truly repented and put my faith in when I say I believed in. I can say I believe in you, or I can say to a person, “I love you.” “Oh good! Marry me.” “No, I am not quite ready yet.” There is lot of words we use that is not a reflection of what is actually true.
But we are not those who shrink back. There are people like that and they are destroyed. But there are those who believe and are saved. There is a difference between saying I believe and shrinking back, which the bible says they went out from among us because they were never a part of us.
1 John 2:19
19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.
Can you come to Christ and still have a lot of baggage that you keep doing? Yes, you can. But are you going to deny Christ? If you do, it is because you never accepted Him. They went out from among us because they were never a part of us. So if we are not those who shrink back and are destroyed but those who believe and are saved. True belief is true faith and it is impossible to reverse it.