The Fighting Christian
Hebrews 11 – 12:1
We find in Hebrews 11 the roll call of the faithful. These are the men and women that chose to obey the call of God to live for and to serve Him. The writer of Hebrews concludes the chapter with these words, “And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.”*
In the first verse of Hebrews chapter twelve, we are encouraged to consider the efforts of those that came before us and to understand that we are all involved in the same struggle. The writer of Hebrews uses a racing metaphor to get across his point. He might just as easily have described the Christian life in terms of personal warfare. Every child of God is called to enlist in the struggle for God’s cause. I sometimes think we should require everyone joining the church to read Hebrews 11 and 12. Jesus encouraged those considering a life with Him to, count the cost. To consider what you are letting yourself in for when you choose to name yourself a Christian.
You may recall that at the start of the Gulf War back in 1991 a large number of young men and women in the United States military services demanded that they be allowed to leave. Many of them argued that they had joined the Army to receive the educational benefits and not to fight. Somehow they managed to confuse the incentives offered for military service with the real purpose for military force – to fight and if need be to die for one’s country!
If you choose to live a Christian life, you will find yourself involved in conflict. That is because we live in a world that forces us to choose sides. No one can long walk the middle of the road. Sooner or later you will be drawn into the conflict on one side or the other.
I. Choose Sides Rather Than Be Drawn In
- Therein lies peace of mind and spirit
1. Any other course will cause inner conflict
2. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide and He will gift you for the struggle
II. Rid Yourself of Unnecessary Burdens (Tumor)
- Try picking up 100 pounds and running (habits)
1. You won’t get far
2. You will come to focus more on the weight you are carrying than the race you are running
III. Be Sure to Put Off Sin
It is unfortunate that so many believers are more concerned with physical appearance than with spiritual performance! It is not possible to please God while living among the enemy and behaving as they do. One day The Book of Life will be opened alongside the Book of Works. It would be a real tragedy to be mentioned in only the latter. It would be a terrible shame to only be mentioned in the former!