About Ivan Foster

Ivan Foster is a recently retired minister in the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster. Until November 2009 he was minister of Kilskeery Free Presbyterian Church. He continues to preach and write as the Lord gives opportunity.
Ivan has written 447 articles so far, you can find them below.

July 2018

Audio sermons

  • KICS talks. These have finished for the school year. They will recommence, DV, in September.
  • All recently added audio sermons can be seen here.

Prayer meeting, Cookstown FPC, July 24th, 2018.

Open air service July 22nd, 2018.

Sunday service July 15th, 2018.

Sunday services July 8th, 2018.

Sunday services June 24th, 2018.

Other recently added sermons

News review for week ending Friday 27th July 2018.

“Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God?
Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?”

Romans 9:20.


Baby born with half a heart defies doctors to start nursery

“Doctors offered to terminate the pregnancy on three occasions.” If the medical experts had had their way this little one would have been murdered in her mother’s womb! Are they not guilty of incitement to murder?

(Northern Ireland) Anti-abortion group’s capital protest

NI abortion reform: More than 170 politicians sign letter

End of male and female ‘good for all’, Peer claims

If there was never before a reason to abolish the House of Lords (!), this evil and loony ‘Lord’ provides ample reason for the saving of wasted £millions for the nation by its termination.

See more news from the past week….

Apostolic ‘selfies’

The “Independent” newspaper reported on 8th July 2018, that, “Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte says he will quit if someone can prove God exists.” The proof the President required was “a selfie”, the modern term for “a photograph that is taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam.”

It is now more than two weeks since that news report appeared. When I read it my mental response was somewhat immediate for some of the texts I have listed in this article sprang into my mind, especially John 20:31. “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” The Bible is written to give documentary proof of the truth of the gospel in a style and manner acceptable in the 1st century and still employed in our courts today.

While I did not write an article right away, the matter came before me many times until I had to put pen to paper or rather, fingers to keyboard.

Here is the result. I am sending a copy to the Press Office of President Rodrigo Duterte with a request that it be passed to him.

Pray that it might be indeed brought to his attention and that God’s Word, as He wills, “shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it,” Isaiah 55:11. Read more

News review for week ending Friday 20th July 2018.

“And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he (the Lord) doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” Daniel 4:35.

Police come under ‘prolonged and sustained attack’ as trouble continues in Bogside

New siege of Derry as the residents of Fahan Street cower and pray for relief

‘Londonderry riots being orchestrated by cowards hiding in the shadows’

Police chief says New IRA to blame for city violence

‘IRA’ blamed for Derry gun and bomb attacks

DUP slams Sinn Fein’s ‘double standards’ over city violence


See more of this week’s news review….

The Distress of Preaching God’s Word in a Day of Apostasy – A sad lament by a preacher to his mother!

“Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have neither lent on usury, nor men have lent to me on usury; yet every one of them doth curse me,” Jeremiah 15:10.

This morning (July 19th) I read Jeremiah chapter 15 along with Judges 2, two of the chapters appointed for reading today for those who follow the Robert Murray McCheyne Bible Reading Calendar. Both these chapters highlight the tendency of God’s people to depart from the ways of the Lord as He sets forth in His Word and to eagerly enter the paths dictated by their own depravity. Read more

Christian Schools And The Future Of Free Presbyterianism

Recently, a visiting preacher said in a sermon in the pulpit of Kilskeery Free Presbyterian Church, that the Free Presbyterian Church had “lost a generation of children”!

I believe that was most sadly true and the reason for it has been the failure to remove our children from under the tutelage of the state system of education. It has become the main instrument of the devil and his agents for the spreading of the rejection of everything God’s Word sets forth. Sodomy, transgenderism and every form of modern, depraved philosophy has found its way into the state’s curriculum and is imposed upon the minds of the young in the classroom.

This was warned of 40 years ago when the plans for first Independent Christian School was initiated but to a very large degree the Free Presbyterian Church chose to ignore the warning and what the visiting preacher stated is the result.

Here is a message, preached 32 years ago and widely circulated repeatedly within the Free Presbyterian congregations and much further abroad. Please read it here.

In the past we mounted daily links to notable news stories in Northern Ireland and the UK with our occasional comments.

Now we are doing it on a weekly basis and also sending it out by email to those who have requested that all material mounted on The Burning Bush website be sent to them by email.

Anyone wishing to be added to this email list please contact me and request that their name be included. Needless to say, anyone who wishes their name removed from the list has only to likewise notify me.

Christian regards to all,

Ivan Foster.
13th July 2018.

News review for week ending Friday 13th July 2018.

SF still run by unelected individuals, says Martin (Fianna Fáil leader)

Defence Secretary blasted over apparent amnesty suggestion for IRA terrorists

Ruth Dudley Edwards: We can’t allow terrorists to be seen as the moral equals of legitimate state forces

Cautious DUP welcome for Chequers Brexit proposal

In the light of David Davis’ resignation and criticism of the proposal, one wonders just how much the DUP understand about Brexit!!!!

DUP ‘unhappy’ with aspects of May’s Chequers Brexit plan

Oh! They must have read my comment above!!


Read more of this week’s news review


Notice to Readers from the Editor

As from today, July 7th, 2018, we are planning to circulate any articles and recordings via email as well as mounting them on our site.

We already have a small emailing list of those who like to receive items directly to their email inbox.

Should any of our readers wish to add their address to the distribution list, please contact the Editor requesting your name be added and you will receive any new articles or audio recordings that are produced or promoted by the Editor.

– Rev Ivan Foster.

News review for week ending Friday 6th July 2018.

Malachi O’Doherty: So, Mary Lou, the RUC was disbanded? the Provos have gone away? and Gerry was never in the IRA?

Read the Belfast Telegraph article.

Protestors lose bid to overturn abortion clinic buffer zone

Read the BBC news article.

Ex-Moderator reveals anguish over Presbyterian’s same-sex row

“Asked if he saw a parallel with the way in which Christian Churches eventually had to revise their long-held – but ultimately false – position on the issue of slavery, the distinguished clergyman said: ‘I struggle with precisely that question.’ ”

This learned ‘doctor’ seems to forget that the change in the Christian view referred to was a getting into step with the Bible not, as he would wish, a defying of the Scriptures!!! Read the Belfast Telegraph article.


Read more of this weeks news review


“Ex-Moderator reveals anguish over Presbyterian’s (sic) same-sex row.” So ran the headline in the Belfast Telegraph of July 2nd 2018.

Last month, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland’s General Assembly decided that same-sex partners could not receive communion and their children could not be baptised in the Church. Former Presbyterian Moderator Dr John Dunlop, has spoken of his personal struggle with the issues of same-sex relationships in the Church in the wake of recent controversial decisions by its ruling body.

“There are many people in the Presbyterian Church who are happy with the decisions which have been made – but then there are other people who are LGBT, or their family and friends, who have found this very unsettling,” he said. Read more

The latest evidence of Dr Joel Beeke’s links with the dreadful apostasy of today.

The President of the Martin Bucer Seminary in cosy fellowship with the Pope!

I have recently been sent some web links that serve to show further evidence of how Joel Beeke is closely allied with the “Balaams” and “Elymases” of today.

Joel Beeke, once considered a ‘fundamentalist’, cosied-up to and defended by those within the ranks of Free Presbyterianism both in the UK and USA and by English and American Baptists, is openly in fellowship with rank apostates and Romanisers such as Bishop Prof. Thomas Schirrmacher, PhD, ThD, DD.

…The German newspaper ‘Die Welt’ calls Bishop Schirrmacher one of the three leading experts on religious freedom globally and “Pope Francis’ most loved Protestant”. Read more

News review for week ending Friday 29th June 2018.

Irrevocable Anglican split on sexuality fears

You would like to think that there would be at least some who would NOT follow the lead of the apostate Welby!! Read the Newsletter report.

DUP leader Arlene Foster attends GAA final

Read the Newsletter report.

Read the BBC report.

Foster: Attendance at gaelic football final is step toward reconciliation

Read the Belfast Telegraph report.

Sinn Fein hails Arlene Foster’s visit to football final as hand of friendship

Read the Newsletter article.

Read more of this week’s news review

A hiding place in a troublesome time

“And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land,” Isaiah 32:2

Preached by Rev. Ivan Foster in Walsham Le Willows Congregational church

Lord’s Day morning, 24th June 2018.

Stream or download A hiding place in a troublesome time

This prophecy refers, in the first instance, to a good king such as Hezekiah. It is to be noted just how beneficial godly leadership is for a country. The cost of its absence is all too clear for us in Ulster.  “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn,” Proverbs 29:2.

God’s woe is pronounced against our leaders, Isaiah 10:1-2. They have released upon us the very elements that they should have sheltered us from.

The full application of this verse can only refer to Christ and His work of saving sinners.



Wind, flood, drought and heat. These four troubles encompass all the distresses that befall sinful man.
1. The wind. — The devil, Eph 2:2. The restless spirit that constantly buffets man.
2. The tempest/Flood. — Sin, Isaiah 59:19. It floods the land, changing its appearance and destroying the comforts of men and women.
3. Drought. — A shutting of heaven. Heaven is closed against the sinner because of his disobedience, Eph 2:12, 4:18.
4. Heat. — The burning sun speaking of the wrath of God that abides upon the sinner. John 3:36.


The Lord Jesus is no ordinary person.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace,” Isaiah 9:6. He has infinite wisdom, immeasurable power, unfathomable compassion.
“For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily,” Col 2:9.
* He is God manifest in the flesh. He is mighty to save, Isaiah 63:1.
* He is able to save to the uttermost, Hebs 7:25.
The Lord Jesus has many titles because of His all-glorious person.


1. In all the metaphors there is a similarity. He comes between the sinner and his trouble. The cross is here pictured.
Wind cannot reach you in a hiding place.
Flood cannot reach you in a covert.
Drought cannot reach you by a river.
Heat of sun cannot reach you in the shadow.
2. The help is available to you now. Will you not enter the shelter and comfort of Christ’s salvation?
“Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast,” Psalms 57:1.
“For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall,” Isaiah 25:4.
“And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people,” Isaiah 51:16.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” Matthew 23:37.
Let these words be your testimony from this day.
“As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste,” Song of Solomon 2:3.

The parable of the wheat and the tares

The Parable of the Tares – Matt 13:24-30; 36-43.
Preached at the Sovereign Grace Advent Testimony  monthly meeting in London, 22nd  June 2018
By Rev Ivan Foster.
There is a need for us to seek the Lord for a right understanding of His Word. As He says: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.” Isaiah 55:8.
It would be wrong to simply place our own interpretation upon His Word.
The Lord is most willing to explain His truth to us as we seek out the prophetic teaching of the parable. “Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field,” Matthew 13:36. The word ‘declare’ means ‘make plain or explain’.
1. This contradicts the views of those who teach ‘Post Millennialism’. Postmillennialism is the belief that Christ returns after a period of time, but not necessarily a literal 1000 years.
Those who hold this view do not interpret unfulfilled prophecy literally. They believe that Rev 20:4-6 should not be taken literally.  – “a 1000 years” simply means “a long period of time.” Furthermore, the prefix “post-” in “postmillennialism” denotes the view that Christ will return after Christians, not Christ, have established the kingdom on this earth.
Those who hold to this view believe that this world will become better and better, despite the evidence of our eyes and ears and, above all, of Holy Scripture. The world is not becoming “Christianized” as the holders of this notion would teach. If we are to wait on that happening before Christ returns then He will never return. The trend evidenced in the old world is clearly manifested today. “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. . . . . . The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth,” Genesis 6:5, 11-12.
2. It also contradicts the views of a ’secret rapture’. Note verse 30. “Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” Here they both grow TOGETHER until the harvest and then it is the tares which are first cut down. This is the very opposite to what JN Darby and his disciples taught.
a. Satan is active through his ‘children’. Just as the children of God serve Him in His vineyard so it is the children of the ‘wicked one’ serve him in seeking to destroy God’s vineyard. The relationship between the devil and the unsaved is that of ‘father and child’! This speaks of likeness 
and love. “Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil,” John 3:19. As the Saviour said to the Jews: “Ye do the deeds of your father, . . . . Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it,” John 8:41, 44. Again, being the children of the devil they engage in his labours.  “Ye do the deeds of your father,” John 8:41. The word  ‘deeds’ means ‘labour or work’.
b. He has his children everywhere. “The field is the world,” verse 38. Everywhere the gospel is preached and the Kingdom of God is advanced, the devil plants his seed within its ranks.
c. They bear an outward likeness to God’s people. Even as tares bear some outward resemblance to wheat.
d. Note the enmity that exists toward the tares amongst God’s servants. “He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?” Matthew 13:28. Such a spirit is very proper. “And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel,” Genesis 3:14-15.
There is a God-planted spirit of enmity toward the devil and his works in the heart of every believer. But the servants were wrong is seeking to remove them. “But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them,” verse 29. We are called upon to suffer the presence and many of the activities of the ungodly. “But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also,” Matthew 5:39. We are not to resist with violence the acts off the devil upon God’s work. “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord,” Romans 12:19.
We have considered how this parable refutes the teaching of those who hold to Post-Millennialism and also those who teach a “secret rapture” the redeemed before the cutting off of the wicked.
The parable also refutes the teaching of A-Millennialists. They state that we are in the period described in Revelation 20:1-6, when specifically we are told that an angel “laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season,” Revelation 20:2-3.
Thus they claim that:
Satan is presently bound with a chain, cast into the bottomless pit, shut him up, sealed,  unable to deceive the nations no more and that the saints reign with Christ and the world is at peace.
This parable sets forth a very different scenario.
1. The tares are not cut down, even though God’s servants would dearly love to see that happen.
2. The tares continue to flourish and dominate as weeds tend to do.
3. Their true character becomes ever more evident. “But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also,” Matthew 13:26. The meaning of the word ‘appeared’ may be seen by its use in Matthew 1:20. “But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.” What an plain unmistakeable manifestation of the person of the angel this was! Even so will the wicked amongst the people of God become as we draw nearer the harvest, the end of this age and the return of Christ.
Like Judas, they will come out in their true colours toward the end. He deceived the rest of the disciples until he appeared with the mob. “Lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people. Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast. And forthwith he came to Jesus, and greeted Him Hail, master; and kissed him,” Matthew 26:47-49. He who kissed the Saviour joyfully, for that is the meaning of ‘hail’. See the same word translated as rejoice in Matthew 2:10. “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.” And also in Matthew 5:12. “Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” How deceitful was Judas but he merely pictures the general spirit of the unconverted. Judas called the Lord Jesus ‘Master’ but he was in fact “the son of perdition”, John 17:12.
So it is seen today. The ‘professing church’ has become more worldly, more devil-like in its ways and words as the ‘harvest’ draws nearer.. From its ranks may be heard the voice of those to whom Jude refers. “To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him,” Jude 1:15. Make no mistake about this matter. These are those who mingle with the people of God pretending to be of them. “These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever,” Jude 1:12-13.
They are pretenders who profess to be what they are not, to possess what they have not!
Such is the teaching of this parable.
Is this not what Scriptures says of the last days!
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come,” 2 Tim 3:1. The word ‘perilous’ appears in only one other place. “And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way,” Matthew 8:28.
I think that we can say this man and his companion were the worst cases of devil-possession that Christ encountered.
Remember what we read in Revelation 13:11-12. “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth . . . . . . And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.”
Here are “two possessed with devils . . . .  exceeding fierce.” In these two men of Gadara we have a picture of the fulness the tares will reach at the end of time. The Antichrist and the False Prophet will be but the fulness of the general spirit amongst the ungodly.
“As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world,” verse 40. That is the end of the “age” for such is the meaning of the word “aion”, here translated by the word ‘world’.
Such then is the end of the wicked.
1. Let this encourage us. “For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning. If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children. When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end. Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors,” Psalm 73:14-19.
The desire to be rid of the “tares” will one day be satisfied as God deals with them.
2. Let this stir us to evangelise. We all realise surely that we were once as the tares. “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God,” 1 Corinthians 6:11. We were wonderfully changed by the mercy and grace of God in the day we were rescued and made new. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new,” 2 Corinthians 5:17.
This we desire for the poor sinners around us. We hold the message of deliverance in our hands. “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved,” Acts 2:21. Let us sound it out loud and clear!
Abraham strove with God in prayer when he heard of the judgment that was to fall upon Sodom.  Christ wept at the prospect of Jerusalem’s destruction. “And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,” Luke 19:41.
Recall the reaction of Paul to the troubles of the unbelieving Jews. “I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh,” Romans 9:1-3.
So should we desire and pray and act.
Let that be so with us as well.

Calling to remembrance the former times

Scripture: Hebrews 10:32-39

Stream or download Calling to remembrance the former times

Looking back upon former days in our lives is a divine injunction. While it behoves us to be ever “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” 2 Peter 3:12. (Matt 25:5.) We are also called upon to look back. It is something that God constantly calls His people to do. Of course, we have need of such calls for we are so forgetful. This is especially true of the good and the blessed things we have experienced. Matt 16:5-10.

What is it God would have us remember? “And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no,” Deuteronomy 8:2. All of God’s dealings with us are worthy of recall.

Here in the passage before us, it is a call to remember the days at the beginning of the pilgrimage of the Hebrew Christians.

Remembering the former days will serve to:—


Often we are puzzled by the opposition of sinners. If we recall what we were like we will not.

1. Remember your own darkness and ignorance.  The eyes of our soul dwelt under the blackest curtain of ignorance. “For ye were sometimes darkness,” Eph 5:8. “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son,” Colossians 1:13.

2. Illumination was the first grace bestowed.  Verse 16 lists the blessings of the covenant. Illumination is first.

3. It was an illumination in the knowledge of Christ. The word means to light up, Rev 18:1. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, II Corinthians 4:6. In the light of Christ’s glory, like Saul, we saw our own sins clearly.
Remembering the former days will serve to:—

We had no trouble from the world before we were saved. But that changed very swiftly upon our conversion. Affliction and trouble are an integral part of the Christian’s journey. “Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God,” Acts 14:22.  “That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto,” 1 Thessalonians 3:3. “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution,” 2 Timothy 3:12.

1. The character of their affliction. “A great fight of afflictions.”  The word fight comes from athleo, a Greek word meaning  participation in public games.

2. The precise nature of their affliction.  “Gazing stock,” (brought upon a stage). “Spoiling of their goods.” These are two very heavy burdens to bear.

3. The reason why they were made to suffer.  They became companions of the despised servants of God who were the companions of the despised Jesus, verse 33. It is His reproach the child of God is required to bear. Hebs 13:13. No reproach — no affliction. Something modern Christianity is most anxious to avoid!!
Remembering the former days will serve to:

Those who lived in victory in the past may not be doing so now. People who achieved much for Christ in the past may not be doing so now. Looking back may mean the recovery of that victory which has been lost. Look at verse 32. They had endured a great fight. Look at verse 34. There was a “joyful acceptance” of the “spoiling of their goods.” This joyful endurance of affliction sprang from a “knowing in themselves “that they had “in heaven a better and an enduring substance,”  v 34.

1. The secret was the abiding and real sense of heaven’s glory. From day to day they lived with a greater sense of heaven than of the earth. Do you remember days like that?

2. To them heaven’s glory was enduring  while earth’s was passing away.  Heaven was “an enduring, lasting substance.”

3. To them heaven was substantial. The word means wealth, goods, property.  The only other place this word occurs is in Acts 2:45. “And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.” They had no real attachment to them anyway. This is what enabled them to rejoice as they had their earthly goods taken from them. They had that which none could ever take from them.
Remembering what we once were like arouses desire for a return to that spirit.
May God be pleased to send an awakening against to us like there was in former times amongst God’s people.