Christians are going to encounter uncertain times in life. But Christians never need to be uncertain.
The writer of Hebrews was encouraging an early group of Christians – an early church – to remain steadfast in the faith in the face of persecution and difficulty. He did not want them to become discouraged by their circumstances. He did not want them to drift away from the faith or to fall back.
Part of his motivation technique was to show how we live in a temporal world. This world and the things of this world will fade away. “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” God has assured us that what we see around us is temporary. There will be a great “removal.”
A couple of months ago, I recall watching videos on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Some newly released videos were from a television cameraman who boldly walked among the ashes at the foot of the twin towers. He ventured through broken glass into some of the buildings in that area, and he would come across local police and fire fighters who were standing by.
Knowing what I know now, I couldn’t help but silently urge those first responders to “Get Out!” The places they were standing would soon become piles of rubble. Only they didn’t know it. They were unaware the buildings soon would come down and that their lives were in deadly peril.
I knew what they didn’t know. And, certainly, I wished they knew what I knew. If they had, they would have high-tailed it out of there.
The writer of Hebrews was reminding his early readers – and he is reminding us – something that we ought to know. But just in case we forget or no one has bothered to tell us, we have the writer of Hebrews: “See that you do not refuse him who is speaking.”
We must remember that the place where we stand is a demolition zone.
“Let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
In some of those old 9-11 videos, people were running. The towers were coming down, and a cloud of suffocating dust was chasing them down those downtown city streets. It was a wise decision to run. And they ran with determination. They wanted to get away. They knew.
“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.”
We run with purpose, and we run in a certain direction – following Jesus – knowing our eventual destination is a homeland, a better country, a heavenly one (Hebrews 11:14-16).
How are you staying focused today? Yesterday was a very important Election Day in our country. Our nation is at a crossroads. There is much unrest here. In all of that, how are you staying focused on Jesus and the heavenly future he has prepared for you?