RADICAL FAITH: Faith looks to the future (Hebrews 11:13-16 ) - May 17, 2020
Radical Faith looks to the future. Radical Faith is anchored in tomorrow, not today. Radical Faith trusts that what was not realized today will be realized sometime in the future.
Faith looks to the future while faithfulness is demonstrated today.
“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”
Hebrews 11:13-16 NIV
I. FAITH REMAINS TILL THE END
“A very old man lay dying in his bed. In death’s doorway, he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favorite chocolate chip cookie wafting up the stairs. He gathered his remaining strength and lifted himself from the bed. Leaning against the wall, he slowly made his way out of the bedroom, and with even greater effort forced himself down the stairs, gripping the railing with both hands.
With labored breath, he leaned against the door frame, gazing into the kitchen. Were it not for death’s agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven. There, spread out on newspapers on the kitchen table were literally hundreds of his favorite chocolate chip cookies.
Was it heaven? Or was it one final act of heroic love from his devoted wife, seeing to it that he left this world a happy man? Mustering one great final effort, he threw himself toward the table. The aged and withered hand, shaking, made its way to a cookie at the edge of the table, when he was suddenly smacked with a spatula by his wife.
“Stay out of those,” she said. “They’re for the funeral.” - Source Unknown
It’s always about tomorrow.
A. Living by faith when they died.
B. “Seeing” from a distance.
C. “Welcoming” what was not there yet.
D. “Admitting” this was not their home.
II. FAITH LOOKS FORWARD
“Because the results of God’s sovereignty are delayed, waiting remains an act of faith. We believe results will occur one day. By waiting on God, we affirm our belief in his providence. We trust his timetable. We hope in heaven. Waiting on God is inseparably bound to our belief in the sovereignty of God to bring about the good he promises.
Waiting is often the application of many other, more abstract, biblical qualities of character. Hope, for instance, requires waiting. Faith is all about waiting. Patience and waiting are yoked together. Trust requires delayed gratification. In fact, run down your mental list of the fruit of the Spirit and see if waiting doesn’t play into every single one of them (see Gal. 5:22–23).” - Wayne Stiles, “Waiting on God” Baker Publishing Group, 2015, pp. 16-17.
A. Faith talks about the fulfillment.
B. Faith thinks about the fulfillment.
C. Faith longs for fulfillment.
III. FAITH FINDS ITS REWARD
A. God is not ashamed to be called their God.
B. God has prepared a city for them.
““Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.””
John 14:1-4 NIV
Do you look forward to being with God in heaven? Talk to one other person this week about your hope of going to heaven. Set aside 5 minutes per day for the next week to think about living in heaven with God. To develop longing in your faith, write down 4 things that you look forward to in heaven (not things you will be glad to be rid of from here). Meditate upon these items during your 5 minutes of thinking about living with God in heaven.