Bethel Baptist Church
Worship Service @ Home
9 July 2023
“We, the Lord’s people, need to keep our eyes on Him at all times, obeying Him, persevering, and longing for His soon return. And He is always with us protecting us and blessing us.”
You need to persevere …Heb. 10:36
Last week, we were looking at the need for the believer to persevere, not to throw away their confidence and boldness. We saw how the early church prayed for boldness to preach the Gospel.
Interestingly, another shade of meaning of this word is “freedom of speech.” Even when the early church was forbidden by the religious authorities to preach or teach at all in the name of Jesus (see Acts 4:18 and cf. restricting freedom of speech!), they preached even more boldly as they went on being filled with the Holy Spirit (cf. Ephesians 5:18). Note, we can put a case that if Jesus Christ now has all authority in heaven and earth, and in that context tells us to go and make disciples of all nations … teaching them to obey everything He has commanded (cf. Matt. 28:18-20), then no earthly ruler can forbid the preaching and teaching of the Gospel. This is how Peter and John responded to these religious authorities,
Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to Him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.Acts 4:19-20
We often hear about opponents of the faith, standing vigorously and aggressively for their right to freedom of speech, but are averse to the Christians right to freely express what we believe. Such is the blindness of human nature that we don’t see our own hypocrisy. This passage is set in an End-time context and brings together Isaiah and Habakkuk:
See the Lord is coming …Isaiah 26:20-21
For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though He linger, wait for Him; He will certainly come and will not delay.Habakkuk 2:3-4
This gives everything written here an added importance and vitality. There is a choice to be made, either for the believer to persevere right to the end, or to shrink back. Those who persevere will be rewarded at the Lord’s Second Coming. Those who shrink back will be displeasing to the Lord and face destruction. Those to whom the author of Hebrews was writing had faced severe public persecution in the past and were presently going through difficulties. He appeals to them on the basis that they stood firm and persevered then, and exhorts them to do the same now (cf. Heb. 6:11). We all need that regular challenge to live in the light of eternity (cf. Matt. 24:42 and 1 John 2:28).
Finally, this exhortation not only applies to our commitment to Jesus but also to His Church. Remember, whatever we do to the Church we do to Jesus (cf. Acts 9:4). People say you don’t have to go to church to be a Christian. The answer to that is to be a Christian we need to go to Church, we need to meet up with our family in Christ for how can we
- ‘love one another’
- ‘pray for one another’
- ‘encourage one another’
- ‘be kind to one another’
- ‘wash one another’s feet’ (not literally but you can clean the church toilets!),
etc., etc., unless we are actually with one another? Amen!
Quote of the week
“The way to heaven is ascending; we must be content to travel uphill, though it be hard and tiresome, and contrary to the natural bias of our flesh.”
Verse of the week
Let us not neglect meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.Hebrews 10:25
Father God, thank You for Your Son who persevered all the way to the Cross. By Your Spirit help us in these Last Days, to persevere to the very end of the age bringing glory to Your Name, Amen!