Memory passage for the month of November – Luke 1:26 – 38
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 18:3 & 46
Read a previous post from this passage – “Living by Faith”
“And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” – (Hebrews 11:36-40)
“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” – (2 Timothy 3:12)
Hebrews 11 is one of my favorite passages of Scripture. In it we learn all about the men and women of the Bible who walked by faith. We learn what it means to have faith:
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” – (Hebrews 11:1)
We also learn that without faith, it is impossible to please the Lord:
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” – (Hebrews 11:6)
The first 35 verses of the chapter give us examples of many of the acts of great faith from men and women of the Old Testament. People like Abraham, Moses, and Noah. This chapter has been called the “Hall of Faith”, because it mentions all of the great heroes of faith. Great victories were wrought by the Lord through these men and women of great faith who believed God, and because they believed Him, they obeyed Him; and God rewarded them greatly: some of them receiving their reward beginning in their earthly lives, but all of them receiving it in that “heavenly country” that they looked for.
An interesting thing happens in verse 36, however. God begins to describe what others had to endure because of their faith. Notice in vs. 36 – 40, that these men and women suffered terribly because of their faith; but they endured, and remained faithful, even unto death. These, too, are great heroes of the faith, and though the world was not worthy of them, in Heaven they are recognized and greatly rewarded by the Lord.
I must confess that I would rather be part of the first crowd in chapter 11. I would prefer to demonstrate my faith through great spiritual victories on the earth that do not involve pain and persecution. I would like to be a part of some future “Hall of Faith” for being a faithful pastor, who was used of God to build a great church; but I fear that these last days that we are living in are going to get tougher and tougher, and I believe it is very possible that even the Christians in America could begin to see persecution to the degree that some may be imprisoned, and others may even be put to death for their faith. I hope it doesn’t come to that. I really hope the Lord will come back for us before things get that bad here; but I am preparing for the cold reality that our nation is becoming more and more intolerant of biblical Christianity. It is my prayer that if my faith is ever put to the test like it was for the men and women mentioned in this passage, that I will be able to pass the test.
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