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Bright and Shining lights in the Bible #20

Scripture: For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city,” Hebrews 11:14-16.

Stream or download Bright and shining lights in the Bible #20


Last week we considered why Abraham and his early descendants forsook the land Babylon and came, at God’s bidding, to the ‘Promised Land’. Today, as we look at these three verses, I want you to notice first of all:

I. THE SIMPLE TESTIMONY THEY BORE
The previous verse says: “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” This then was their testimony.
1. They made no secret of their hopes. They declared ‘plainly’.  The word means that they ‘made an exhibition of’ their hopes.
2. They were not ashamed to speak of their hopes. Paul was of the same spirit, Rom 1:16.
3. We are appointed as witnesses. Luke 24:48, Acts 1:8.

II. THE STEADFASTNESS OF THEIR PILGRIMAGE
1. The proof of the Christian is that they do not turn back. Hebs 10:38-39.
2. The reason for such steadfastness is that they were not ‘mindful’ of that which they had left. ‘Remember’ means  ‘make mention’. The old ways do not ‘fill our minds’! Same word in verse 22. Notice Joseph is thinking of the future and not the past!
3. Keeping our hearts and minds on Christ delivers us from temptation. Col 3:1-2. The old world should be a ‘dead’ thing to us, verse 3.

III. THE SUPERIORITY OF THEIR HEAVEN
1. They believed that heaven was better than all the world offered. Ashamed of what we were, Rom 6:20-21.
2. Such a view of heaven pleased God. He saw they were not ashamed of Him.
3. God is not ashamed of such but has a great reward for them. Verse 16. Remember Christ’s words, Luke 9:26.

Bright and shining lights in the Bible #19

Scripture: Hebrews 11:13.“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth”.
‘These’ that is, all those whose names have been mentioned already from verse 4 and of course believers who lived at the time of the ‘patriarchs’ and in subsequent times right up to NT times.
1. BOYS AND GIRLS, ALL MUST DIE. But it is most important to die ‘in faith’, that is, trusting in the promises of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ! That is what a Christian is. “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord,” Revelation 14:13.
2. THAT WHICH PROMPTED THEM TO START OFF ON THEIR PILGRIMAGE. ‘The promises’, plural! The gospel has many promises held out to sinners. Pardon, new life, the blessing of God, His presence and certainty of heaven.
3. THEY SAW GOD’S PROMISES ‘AFAR’ OFF. They knew that the fulfilling of them lay in the future.
4. THEY BELIEVED GOD OR WERE ‘PERSUADED OF THEM’. (See Matt 27:20). The Holy Spirit ‘persuaded’ us to believe God.
5. BEING PERSUADED, THEY RECEIVED AND EMBRACED THE PROMISES. ‘Received’ = Matt 8:17, ‘took’. “Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity,” 1 Peter 5:14. ‘Greet’  means to ‘embrace’. We hug God’s promises to our heart.
6. THEY NO LONGER CONSIDERED THEMSELVES  CITIZENS OF THIS WORLD! Col 3:1-2; “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ,” Php 3:20.
Matt 6:20 – Banking in Heaven’s bank!