What We Crazy Christians Believe
Have you ever gone through the book of Hebrews? My goodness, it’s quite the manifesto. I’m not sure what the word “manifesto” means, but it seems a majestic word which this epistle is worthy of!
At the beginning of 2015 I felt strongly drawn to study/meditate through Hebrews. And it has been amazingly awesome and rewarding. And I feel it is time to share the awesomeness of this deep well of cosmic truth and reality.
If I were a preacher about to preach through Hebrews, I would title the sermon series “What We Crazy Christians Believe.”
This epistle (fancy word for “letter”) was written to Christians most likely in Rome around the mid 60s (not 1960s). Persecution was very much on the rise just for being Christian, and even threat of death was looming. Pause for a second–WE CANNOT RELATE TO THIS. Stop and think about this. You may have someone come to your house tonite and take you to prison or just shoot you in the head. For being a follower of Jesus. Ok, un-pause.
Understandably, some of these Christians were losing their faith. Thinking of turning away from it all. What’s the point? To say the least, these Christians needed some encouragement. To keep going and persevere in their faith. And this writer delivers this amazing letter to help bolster their commitment to Christ through reiterating what we believe, in whom we believe, why we believe.They were discouraged and were slipping into spiritual lethargy which could lead to abandoning their Christian confession altogether. Many were thinking of just going back to their old ways of Judaism which was safer and more comfortable than this new wacky thing called Christianity.
Though our circumstances are much different, for which I am very thankful, the principles are the same are they not? We are lulled into spiritual lethargy via our surroundings. We are tempted to go back to our old comfortable ways, no matter how destructive. What’s the point? Why pursue Christ? We have all we need here in America don’t we? Plenty of food, clothing, housing, friends, shopping, sports, churches…you name it, we got it and plenty of it! We do not need to depend on God for much of anything here and today.
Or do we?
Perhaps we don’t know what we’re missing due to the numbing effects of the great idol of comfort and convenience at whose altar we bow low, reverently, and consistently.
If we knew the greatness of Christ in even the smallest measure, we would bow the knee to Him bemoaning every second we wasted before we did so.
Persecution and a blurred picture of Jesus was leading to the drifting of right thinking and living for these early Christians. Therefore, the author’s challenge was to encourage a group of discouraged believers drifting from real Christianity by bolstering their commitment to draw near to God and to endure in commitment to Christ.
What is so beautiful about this letter is that the answer, at the end of the day, is to simply draw near to God and find pleasure in His presence–which was won for us through Jesus. Jesus died to bring us close to God and be with Him in a real experiential way.
That alone is what heals and undergirds perseverance. We just encourage each other in this. No one gives peace but the Prince of Peace.
God with us.
Drawing near to Him who is already there waiting for you to do so.
That is Life, and Life abundant indeed.
In the Name of Jesus,
Soli Deo Gloria