How many of you are sure that you will spend your eternity in Heaven?
So you believe Heaven is a real place – right?
How many of you have seen Heaven?
How many of you know exactly where it is or what it looks like?
So you haven’t seen it?
Have you touched it?
Have you heard it?
Have you tasted it?
Have you smelled it?
How are you able to know something is real that you haven’t experienced with your senses?
Isn’t that how we usually determine what is real, through our senses? If you can see it then it must be real. If you can touch it, it must be real.
So how do we, as flesh and blood, finite, physical, flawed creatures connect with a reality other than the sights, and sounds, and sins and sufferings of this life?
That is the final thought in this “Terms of Endearment” series:
REPENT – Turn from sins and turn to God
RESTITUTION – Making things right because you’ve been made right.
REDEMPTION – Bought back from sin and slavery by the blood of Jesus
REGENERATION – Spirit brought to life by the Holy Spirit
RECONCILIATION – Connected to God in personal faith relationship
RIGHTEOUSNESS – Made right with God through the righteousness of Christ
The last term associated with salvation is “REALITY”. When you come to Christ in salvation you get a new reality.
(Like People Who Lose Much Weight But Still Think Of Themselves As Heavy)
(Like People Who Suddenly Become Wealthy – Sports Stars, Lottery Winners)
(FPU Is Teaching Us A New Reality About Money – Paper or Plastic Has New Meaning)
These are examples of people who experience a new reality that they will have to adjust to.
Becoming a Christian, a child of God who is redeemed, regenerated, and righteous, is indeed, a reality we have to adjust to. It is a fundamental transformation of how we think, how we love, how we believe, how we see, and what we value. Now we “walk by faith not by sight”
(YOUR FAITH HAS TO BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR FEELINGS)
(BELIEVING MUST BE MORE REAL THAN SEEING)
(HOPE BECOMES MORE THAN CROSSING YOUR FINGERS A WISHING SOMETHING GOOD WILL HAPPEN – HOPE IS LOOKING TO THE CROSS AND TRUSTING THAT IS HAPPENED)
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” HEBREWS 11:6
This verse reveals how the spiritual reality of faith develops in the life of a believer.
I. LIVING FOR A REAL REASON, V. 6
“Without faith it is impossible to please God…..”
The new reality of faith is that I now live to please God. No longer do I live for what pleases me. I don’t expect God to please me, but I live to please Him. What pleases God is my obedience to His will.
THAT IS WHAT ALL THESE HEROES OF FAITH DID!
Do you live to please God? Is that your primary reason for doing what you do?
How many times this week did you face decisions between what you wanted to do and what you knew would please God? How many times did you choose His will above yours?
The reality that guides a Christian is pleasing God.
II. LIVING FOR A REAL RELATIONSHIP, V. 6b
“…..believe that He exists…..”
Believe God exists and is more real than your reality. Real reasons to know He exists:
c) Changed Lives
If God exists – and He does – then He is real and you need to know Him.
If He is Creator, and Christ and if He changes lives – and He does, then you are accountable to Him and will have to answer to Him – so you’d better be in a faith relationship with Him!
III. LIVING FOR A REWARD, V. 6c
“….and He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”
a) Abundant Life, John 10:10
b) Eternal Life, John 3:16
c) Crown of Life, James 1:12
d) Jesus IS Our Reward, Philippians 3:7-10
“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith– that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death”
ENOCH –“ By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.”
Enoch was the poster child for faith!
He Pleased God
He Knew God
God Was His Reward
Because he let God be so real to him – he got a new reality! ALL THESE SAINTS IN HEBREWS 11 DID!
AS REDEEMED, RECONCILED, REGENERATED, AND RIGHTEOUS PEOPLE. WE DON’T HAVE TO BE OVERCOME BY REALITY! WE OVERCOME BY A HIGHER REALITY!
That’s what real faith does!
Are you living to please God?
Are you living to know God?
If you died tonight what would your reward be?