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The Hall of Faith (10 of 11)
CONTEXT: The writer to the Hebrews is writing to a group of Jewish people are are seriously considering abandoning the faith and returning to a legalistic form of Judaism. Perhaps they have fallen under the influence of the Essene community, perhaps the persecution of Nero is giving them second thoughts. Either way - they are considering turning back.
The author has reasoned with them in every way imaginable to stay the course... to press on... now he is coming down to his closing arguments. He sums up the argument of chapter 11 in chapter 12.
ILLUSTRATION: My family can tell you that I am deathly afraid of heights - I always have been. as a matter of fact in our garage there are 7 lights that are shot... all except one and I'm putting off changing them as long as I can because I hate going up on the ladder. Well, when I was in about 8th grade I went to camp and one of the things that happened on like day 3 of camp was rappelling - going down a cliff with a rope.
I remember, getting the gear on - turning around backwards and the tight feeling in my chest as I had to walk backward off the edge of the cliff... I said the sinners prayer, I did the cross on my chest in case those guys were right... I had never been so scared in all my life... i was clinging to the cliff. But then something happened... at some point I finally shifted my weight from myself holding on to the cliff... onto the rope. My confidence grew till eventually I was kicking off the rock face and sliding down the cliff.
Now what happened? I learned I wasn't really afraid of heights, I was afraid of being out of control. But when I believed that I could trust the rope... things changed.
Some of you today and clinging to the side of life's cliff... you can't make any progress because you've gone as far as your muscles can take you.
Hear this great cloud of witnesses shouting at you saying, ''trust the ...
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