Text: Hebrews 3:12-19
Intro: An unfinished Highway.
Stopping mid way leaves faith unfinished, and we are lost.
People are falling away from the faith. Churches are closing their doors, the number of faithful in attendance dwindles.
We need a faith that is protected from the evil of society around us
We need an unfailing faith in our churches that will latch on and not let go.
We need to set the example of faith that will lead and sustain those who follow us.
We need an unfailing faith!!
1. Unfailing Faith is Protected
a. through examination
Take care—From the Greek word to see.—look and see
A young boy walked into a drugstore and asked to use the telephone. He asked the operator to give him a certain number: "Hello, Dr. Anderson. Do you want to hire a boy to cut the grass and run errands for you? Oh, you already have a boy? Are you completely satisfied with the boy you have? OK then, good-bye, Doctor."
As the boy thanked the druggist, the druggist said, "Just a minute, Son. If you are looking for work, I could use a boy like you."
"Thank you, sir, but I have a job," the boy replied.
"But didn't I just hear you trying to get a job from Dr. Anderson?"
"No, sir," said the boy, "you see, I'm the boy who is working for Dr. Anderson. I was just checking up on myself."
---What would the boy have done if his employer was dissatisfied?
Be willing to hear the news.
b. from evil
The Danger lies within.
A fort with men that look without the walls while the enemy is setting fires within.
c. by encouragement
One of my preschool students had a habit of patting me on the seat of my pants. I tried several things to make him stop, but nothing worked. Finally, I resorted to a time-out chair.
Later, when his father came to pick him up, I quietly mentioned the problem, asking whether he had any insight on the situation. Smiling, the father explained his son's fascination with football--and his curiosity as to why the players "spanked" each other: "I told my son that they were telling each other what a good job they were doing." It seems the same applied to me.
-- Mary Cooper, Lowell, Michigan. Christian Reader, "Kids of the Kingdom."
2. Unfailing Faith is Completed
a. if we hold fast to our assurance
Not trust feelings, trust God
Bulldog faith- latch on and not let go. (cartoons, Tom and Jerry---Tom get bit by the bulldog who was Jerry’s friend)
b. if we hold firm until the end
*Only by desertion can we be defeated. With Christ and for Christ victory is certain. We can lose the victory by flight but not by death. Happy are you if you die in battle, for after death you will be crowned. But woe to you if by forsaking the battle you forfeit at once both the victory and the crown.
Bernard of Clairvaux
*Newsweek (111990) ran an article titled "Letters in the Sand," a compilation of letters written by military personnel to family and friends in the States during the Gulf War. One was written by Marine Corporal Preston Coffer. He told a friend, "We are talking about Marines, not the Boy Scouts. We all joined the service knowing full well what might be expected of us." He signed off with the Marine motto, Semper Fi, Latin for "always faithful."
The Bible says, "Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful" (1 Cor. 4:2).
3. Unfailing Faith is Instructed
a. by the faith of others
*A good example is the tallest kind of preaching.
African chief, Christian Reader, Vol. 33, no. 1
*Small boys learn to be large men in the presence of large men who care about small boys.
*Knowing the mountain has been climbed makes it easier to climb.
b. by the failure of others
*Bernstein Bears ---Bearscout guide book---Papa bear says, “with a guide like me you can’t go wrong.
Jesus has a great crowd following him, and he something interesting to say to them. It is as if He sees tha some of them follow him only superficially, and that some will not carry their faith through to the end.
25Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, 26“If anyone comes to Me, and does not £hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. 27“Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28“For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? 29“Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, 30saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31“Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32“Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33“So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.
34“Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? 35“It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
I am afraid of those who have started a long expensive highway and who haven’t set aside enough funds to finish it.
The cost is not light, and many start out with good intentions, but not everyone is willing to pay what it costs to finish the road.
Come lay your money down.