Not of Those

Published on Nov 19th, 2014 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
Not of Those

Not of Those

In the movie Braveheart, Mel Gibson, plays the role of William Wallace.  Right before a fight with the English, he gives a very stirring speech that rallies his troops.  They were so moved by the speech that they decided to show the English what they thought of them and they raised their kilts, turned around, and showed the English their better looking side.  Recently I watched another movie.  Duane “The Rock” Johnson played Hercules.  He, too, gave a speech right before leading his armies of men into battle.  It did not play as well as William Wallace’s speech.  In fact, it had both my friend and I mocking the scene rather than being inspired by it.  I think that if we could have, we might have lifted our kilts and let The Rock know what we thought if his speech.  Thankfully, we restrained ourselves.

In Hebrews 10 the writer shares with us some words that are designed to inspire us to keep battling.  They roused my heart this morning and I trust they will do the same for you.  “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.  But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated.  For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.  Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has great reward.  For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.  For, yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.  But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.”

Wow, those are powerful words and truths.  Do you find your soul resonating with those truths?  Do you remember a time when you were willing to run through walls for Jesus?  You freely opened your mouth.  You freely gave of your time to serve others.  You had great visions of winning your whole work place for Christ.  You chose friends who had the same heart and passions.  They pushed you to put more and more on the line for the cause of Christ.  If you saw another Christian taking a stand at work or in your family…you rushed to support them and to share their heart of obedience.  Your time, your money, your possessions…were only as valuable as they could be used to share the kingdom of God.  Your grip on the things of this earth was very light because you looked forward to things far greater in heaven.  Many might have tried to calm your zeal but you knew, you really knew, that you had the right perspective…they did not.

But what happened?  Time?  Maturity?  Reality?  No one can keep up that pace forever.  We do those things when we are first saved and then we understand that our Christian lives are marathons and not sprints.  We need to pace ourselves and understand that it is God who changes things…not us.  Ok, I will admit that there is something to those statements but how many of them are just excuses and cop outs?  We are different now than when we were first saved, but is that such a good thing?  John tells those in Revelation who have left their first love to remember and do those things that they used to do.  Here, the writer of Hebrews tells us basically the same thing.  He tells us not to slow down.  He shares with us to not shrink back from the fight.  He shares with us to not throw away the confidence that we once had.  We may need to rethink some of the techniques that we once used or tone down some of our “in your face” statements that we thought would be effective but we cannot throw away the heart behind those actions…we were so confident in the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ and his life changing power.  Our love for Jesus and our confidence in his truth propelled us to lay it all on the line.  We cannot lose that.

We are on the winning side.  We can never lose sight of that.  We must endure and fight and live in such a way that the next moment will be when Jesus returns to apply that total victory to the world.  Don’t you just love that phrase, “we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed…”?  True believers do not quit.  They do not stop living by faith.  It is not in their new natures that God has given to them.  Those statements say a lot about God and not much about us.  I know there are many times in my life that I have thought about just packing it in and walking away.  I never have.  Why?  Because God started a good work in me and he promises to complete that work.  I persevere because that is what God causes me to do.  I keep fighting because that is the work God is doing in my heart.  It is who I am.  All glory goes to God for my continued walk with him that he sustains.  My heart is stirred when I read these verses.  That is God working in me.  It is who I am because of him.  If your heart is not stirred then please ask God to make you one of those who does not shrink back.

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