Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Day


Hebrews 10
22  let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
23  Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
24  And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
25  not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

The “Day”
·        Many scholars imagine this, in a larger sense, to be the second coming of the Lord Jesus. Of course this is the ultimate fulfillment of many references made by the Holy Spirit through the writers of the scriptures.
·        However,  it is certain that this writer is speaking to the generation who occupied seats in the first century Church and just as well to those of us who occupy seats in the 21st century Church.
·        Each generation and every congregation faces difficult days which call for and critically demand strength to endure and overcome.
·        When the book of Hebrews was penned, the first Church was about to enter into the most difficult days of its existence.
o   Rome was poised to unleash unheard of persecution and vile retribution upon the Christians and Jews alike.
o   Jerusalem was to be trodden underneath the foot of these gentiles and soon the first Church would be all but gone
o   Families would be torn apart
o   Church leaders martyred
o   And congregations scattered
·        This “Day” was keenly anticipated not only by the writer but also by all those who had their spiritual eyes and ears open to know the times and seasons which were upon them. By the end of the first century Believers were on trial throughout the known world.
·        Since that time, each generation of Christians have had their own set of struggles, whether they be physical, mental or spiritual struggles, each generation has faced formidable pressure to compromise their faith and forego the practice and pursuit of pleasing Almighty God.
o   Temptations to compromise come in many forms

This morning we are going to discover, or for some, rediscover, what the Bible instructs us to do when we find ourselves in trouble or when we  sense difficult days approaching.

And BTW – if you have not yet noticed … trouble is all around us and our generation is headed down the road which leads to what many believe will be some very difficult days: financially; socially; politically; physically, with such simple things as health care and fundamental rights; and spiritually.

I don’t want to take our time and paint the wrong picture. We are not here to exalt or magnify the evil which is all around us. It is not the goal of the scriptures to leave us anxious, afraid or borrowing trouble from tomorrow’s woes. Rather, God would have us shine a light on the answer. We have come today to hear the voice of God’s Word and follow His prescription for our lives. This is what the scriptures encourage us to do when we are either in trouble or when we sense difficult days approaching:

1.  Draw near
a.   to God - with a true heart
b.   certain of our faith – (trust in the Truth – God’s Word is Truth)
c.   with a clear conscience
2.  Hold fast
a.   the confession of our hope (the anchor of our soul - Heb 6:19)
b.   Why? - because you can afford to – He is faithful
3.  Consider
a.   one another (so as not to turn inward or consume ourselves)
b.   stir up one another (the fellowship we have in Christ is interactive)
c.   to love and do good things
4.  Do not Forsake
a.   coming together to encourage one another (it’s not about us)
b.   especially in “The Day” to come …