May 3, 1998
INTRODUCTION: The readers of Hebrews were
experiencing a great deal of challenge and pressure to return to
Judaism, their former faith. It is in this text that the writer
records words of encouragement when it was difficult to
endure. The Christian life can be difficult even without the
excess baggage. In their case, they dealt with persecution,
being unjustly accused, they were victimized, they were being
ostracized. Lots of voices were crying out, “turn back.” In that
context the Holy Spirit of God, through the writer of Hebrews,
said, “Press On,” “No Turning Back.” Now was not a time
to be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As Janet Pascal
sings, “I’ve got too much behind me, to let this world blind me.
To some it’s a name, but to me it’s my everything.”
I. REMEMBERED VICTORIES.
Oftentimes, our memories are far too short.
“Call to remembrance” - remind yourselves;
carefully think back; to reconstruct in your mind.
A. THEY WERE PUBLIC EXAMPLES. 32-33
1. ENLIGHTENED. 32a
Jesus turned the lights on; full knowledge of
the truth. (6:4)
II Cor. 4:4, “Whose minds the god of this
age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the
light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who
is the image of God, should shine on them.”
2. ENDURED. 32b
“you endured a great fight of afflictions” -
word for athletic; describes a tremendous
struggle or conflict.
3. EXAMPLES. 33
“being made a gazing-stock” - our English
word theater comes from this. To bring upon
the stage, to hold up to derision. It is as if they
were on a stage to be made a public spectacle.
It pictures an active willingness to suffer as the
price of victory.
I Cor. 4:9, “For I think that God has
displayed us, the apostles, last, as men
condemned to death; for we have been made
a spectacle to the world, both to angels and
“By reproaches ...
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