! Text: Hebrews 3:12-19
You can’t get there from here! –We can get there, but we have to pay attention to the traveler’s advisory. We have to understand the road conditions and what lies ahead to better prepare. (Snow tires, high water, traffic congestion, mapping out our trip). My Mother’s husband, Jack Black is a trucker, and he amazes me with way he prepares for a trip, whether it is with his 18 wheeler, their motor home, or with the car. He always makes sure the vehicle is serviced and ready to go. He looks in the Atlas and maps out the trip with great care, noting places in between his point of departure and his destination where he can stop for refreshment, fuel, and any help he might need. He received notice for his driving record, without accident. Jack black makes it to where he is going, because he plans to get there. We can learn something from Jack Black. He can give us advice on the road we are on today. Our road of faith.
I. On the road of faith, we have to take care to check under the hood.
A. An evil heart
A man named Stuart Briscoe once said “The root of the human problem is the dynamic disease of sin operating within the soul and manifesting itself. We look at the dreadful things other people do and excuse ourselves. Human beings are not unlike volcanoes. Inside a volcano, the pressure builds until the top blows with a dramatic eruption of lava. At other times, cracks slowly and insidiously appear on the side of the volcano, and the lava flows out in a different manner.
So it is with human beings. We can never say that the circumstances in which a young person's character was formed did not have some impact on the way that he behaves. But inside each of us, there's a thing called sin. No matter what way our volcano was formed, whether we blow the top or leak streams of lava, it's the lava inside that's the problem. The ultimate disease is the problem, and there's nothing human beings can do about it.” --- Just like a volcano, Under some hoods are radiators, about to blow
-- Stuart Briscoe, "The Love That Compels," Preaching Today,
See: Ps 53:3; Pr 20:9; Isa 53:6; Ro 3:23
B. Full of unbelief
Beware of worshipping Jesus as the Son of God, and professing your faith in Him as the Savior of the world, while you blaspheme Him by the complete evidence in your daily life that He is powerless to do anything in and through you.
Oswald Chambers, Christianity Today, Vol. 37, no. 11.
Could it be that the coldness in our worship is due to the fact that we don’t really believe God is big enough to make a difference. I mean, how can we really lift up in our hearts, one we don’t see as lifted up already. I believe that the greater our faith in God, and the intensity with wich we believe Him to be above all else will direct our worship.
C. Falling away
A little girl got home from Sunday school, where she had been taught the verse: Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and give glory to our Father who is in heaven. She asked her mother, when she repeated the verse, what it meant. Her mom said, "Well, it means that when you are good and kind and thoughtful and obedient, you are letting Christ's light shine in your life before all who know you."
The very next Sunday in Sunday school, the little girl got in a bit of a fracas with another student and created somewhat of an uproar--to such an extent that the Sunday school teacher had to go and find her mother to get her settled down a bit in the class. Her mother was concerned when she got to the classroom and said, "Sweetie, don't you remember about letting your light shine for the Lord before men?" The girl blurted out, "Mom, I have blowed myself out."
Many of us have done just that. In our relationship to Christ, our light has gone out.
-- W. Frank Harrington, "The Love That Brought Him," Preaching Today, Tape No. 51.
See: Mt 24:12; Lk 9:62; Gal 4:9; Rev 2:4.
II. On the road of faith, we can take confidence from the help of one another.
A. We need encouraged for the road is long (day by day, yet Today).
*We have taken grace and made it cheap grace. We make religion sound easy, but faith is not always easy. We need to encourage each other not by setting up an easy road, but by warning of the dangers, but giving encouragement by pointing to a god who has made a way.
One thing I hate is when people who give me directions tell me how easy it is to get there, and I find it a difficult trip. They say, oh, it is easy, you can’t miss it. Instead of saying that it would be easy, they would have done me a world of good by warning me of the difficulties. Folks, it is a long road ahead, but I am here to tell you, you can make it.
*When I went to boot camp—Not it will be a piece of cake, but that it will be a long hard road, but you can do it.
Folks, it is a long road ahead, but I am here to tell you, you can make it!
B. We need encouraged against deception of sin.
In Christian Parenting Today (Mar/Apr 98), Dan Schaeffer recalls:
As an 8-year-old, I thought it was comical. Our victim didn't know what was happening and his startled reactions to our rock throwing were entertaining--the kind of entertainment young boys don't think about much.
He was sitting on a bicycle about 40 feet from us. That alone amazed me: I hadn't believed a blind boy would be able to ride a bike. While he didn't ride far, there he was--our target, our victim--astride his old Stingray.
The boy who introduced me to this adventure was a little older than I but clearly a veteran of past "campaigns" against the one on the bike. At first I hadn't wanted to join in, but only because I wasn't sure he really was blind. However, because no adult was in sight, and it was clear the boy couldn't see us, I soon joined in, sailing my rocks all around him, confusing and scaring him.
Our giggling gave our position away, because he turned to us and pleaded: "Stop it! Please don't do that. You aren't very nice to do this to a blind person."
That "please" had little effect on my partner. I, on the other hand, didn't like it when the victim turned and talked to me. I would have been happy to slink away into oblivion, but for some reason I didn't. In short, I didn't stop.
Soon our victim began to cry; he was helpless and he knew it.
I now wonder how it would have turned out had I been allowed to continue. But I was fortunate. Suddenly I felt an iron clamp of a grip on my shoulder and found myself being whirled about to face my babysitter's incensed husband.
I don't remember everything he said, but I remember feeling thoroughly ashamed. Once exposed, my deed was far uglier than it had seemed while I was doing it.
I ceased dangerous, cruel, and harmful activity not because of my underdeveloped conscience, but because someone stopped me.
*Don’t minimize the deceit of sin, but reveal it for what it is. Encourage those in struggles against deceipt with the truth, just as you would encourage one who is overtaken by gloomy thoughts with a flower.
C. We need encouraged to hold fast.
*Assurance is something that needs to be held tightly. Paul tells us to hold fast, as if it could slip away any moment. Let me tell you, assurance can slip away unless you grasp it tightly and hold on.
*Sometimes we just need to be told “Jesus loves you,” sometimes we need to be told to just hold on.
*How many times we see in the movies and on TV the person hanging from a cliff by a root or a rock, and someone comes to the rescue. The first thing they do is yell out “hold on!”
III. On the road of faith we can take counsel from the failure of others.
A. People wreck who had great experiences.
* The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
None are too spiritual to fall, even after God has worked miraculously in their lives.
B. People wreck when they sin.
*We have made light of sin in today’s society. We excuse sin, and pretend people are alright even after they have committed willful, open sin. God does not reward disobedience, but he punishes it. It is grace that we are saved, but once we are saved, Jesus says, go, and sin no more! Why! Not because God can’t forgive, but because sin destroys our relationship with God. It sears our conscience and the things we once were ashamed of become OK. Pretty soon the dog has returned to its vomit and we are worse off than before our salvation. Sin kills. People wreck when they sin.
1 Timothy 1:19
19keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.
C. Some wrecks are fatal, and people never make it home.
The graduating class of 1978, Corry High School. Death on the highway*. between cutting and Corry. They never made it home.
*Only Jesus can salvage a wrecked life and put us on the road to heaven again. If we don’t look to him to take the wheel, we will never make it home. Some wrecks are fatal.
Keep on the road of faith, but take a lesson from Jack Black. We can get there from here, but we have to look under the hood and perform proper maintenance. We have to realize that we are in this together, and get help from one another along the way, and we have to take warning from the ones who have gone before.