While it is plain that some of you who profess to be Christian have never really LEFT the world, those who are His have….and we’re not going back. I wouldn’t be an enemy of God again for love nor money. The world holds nothing that I want. HE holds everything that I have, more than I could ever want, more….much more, than I could ever deserve. Leave HIM? Are you nuts? I say with Peter…Lord, to who would I go?? You have the words of eternal life. You ARE eternal life. And I don’t want to spend one second of my life without You ever again. Let alone eternity. Eternity with YOU. Beats anything this world can offer hands down. Forever with my precious Jesus. No matter what. And those who live and think and breath the world (here’s a clue….what do you think about and talk about the majority of the time?). That is all you have. A fistful of air, at best, all slipping through your fingers. All you have is self (hot air?). Rancid, depraved, shallow self. How foolish to cling to nothing. You have nothing in which to put your confidence. Repent, submit to Christ. Do it now.
I want Christ. He’s going to satisfy that much and beyond that much. We have no comprehension. If you think, “What?”, you know, “I’m going to give up my money here, and all I get is Christ?” If that’s what you feel, then you have not seen the worth and the value of Christ. You’ve not beheld His glory. But that’s where we need to be.
You don’t go to this word, “Well, I read today.” I hear that a lot from people. “Well, how you doing in your Bible reading?” “Well, I read.” What’s that? You know what it’s all about when you go to this book and when you go to prayer? Are you finding Christ? Are you seeing Him sweet again? Is He ravishing your soul? When you pray, does He come? Do you know walking with Him? When you go to His book, do you find His glory is new and fresh? Cause if you’re not, whatever reading, whatever praying you’re… what’s that? Just religious duties.
This life as a Christian is a life of trusting in, clinging to, and loving a person, our Savior, the God-man. Nobody is more glorious. Nobody loves the soul of sinners more. Nobody is more willing to rescue you from your sin and take you to be with Him forever and fill you with the wonders of His person. Literally!
I mean what we get in scripture is that He is altogether glorious, and when we go to be with Him, he just literally pulls us right into that glory. He just swallows us in it. All the glory that He is, we just become absorbed in it. We become like He is.
None of you that cling to Him till the end are going to… even on the last hilltop, are you going to kick yourself and say, “We were sold a bill of goods, not really as good…” No! That’s how it is in this world. People make all these promises that all this is going to be great, and you go on this vacation or come play this golf course or visit the Hawaiian islands… Brethren, all that, yeah, it’s going to fail, but this isn’t. This is about faith. Do you believe this? You need to believe it to the end. You need to endure to the end. Don’t cut out. Don’t quit. And if some of you ran well once, remember the former days. He’s telling you to remember them because He’s calling you to go back to them.
And if you don’t know former days, and you’re a new convert, you know how to live. Live like they lived in their former days. Not like they ,obviously, were coming to play with the world, play with going back to Moses, play with going back to another religious system. Playing with just not wanting to identify with Christ so much. You can see this is what this is all about. I don’t think it’s that difficult to read these verses and see this is exactly what the writer of Hebrews is all about here.
May the Lord help us to recall those former days that they lived in or maybe some of us lived in and to be fervent, to be zealous, to run hard to the end, not become weary in well-doing. Brethren, don’t forsake the assembling together of yourself. Don’t neglect it. Stir up one another. Stir up those that you are afraid might be falling out. Stir them up. Seek to stir them up. I know that not everybody is going to get stirred by our efforts and some will fall out. We know that’s going to happen. But brethren, may it not be because a lack of effort on our part.
And you know what? It is not an unloving thing to speak those warnings to people. Speaking hard warnings to people is not unloving if in truth people are in danger of having what is threatened happen to them. Because they’re going down the very path that is the path where that kind of thing happens to people. It is not unloving to threaten people with those warnings if they’re going in that direction. Because the truth is, if they continue to go, what is threatened will be their lot.
So, God, wake us up. Brethren, I want to get to the end. Don’t you want to get there? I don’t want to fall out. I feel it, brethren. I feel the things that you all feel. The temptations, the push, the pressure, the world, the flesh. I feel the tendency to want to slow down, the tendency to want to kick up the legs, the tendency to just kind of coast. I feel it. I don’t want it.
Father, we pray that you would help us. All the way, Lord. Help us to not fall out. No turning back. No drifting. May our faith be real. May it be lively. May it be hot. We don’t want to shrink back to your displeasure and to our destruction. No shrinking back. Lord, as it gets harder and more difficult to own Christ in this country, more difficult to be a Christian, as the cost increases, help us by your grace to shine more brightly, to identify and cling to Christ at all costs and not let go, no matter the cost. Please help us. Amen.
Bonus…. James 2:19 says that “even the demons believe” and so often professing Christians will boast in their believing as their hope of salvation and not in Christ! — May this never be so! Christ and Him Crucified is our only hope!