Future Faith

FUTURE FAITH

These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect (Heb. 11:39-40).

How would you have liked to have been in the shoes of these who died trusting God but having no idea what their future held for them? They knew nothing of the finished work of their Messiah, which was effective for them as well as for us except that they did not know Him.

They had never seen the face of God in a human being who was God and who came to earth to reveal the Father. They had never seen the Father’s love in action, healing the sick, giving sight to the blind and opening the ears of the deaf, casting our demons and raising the dead. They did not know that God Himself would pay the price He demanded for the debt of sin. They had no idea that He would conquer sin and death, defeat the devil and rise from the tomb, never to die again.

They had no indwelling Holy Spirit, a gift from the Father to be with them forever and to make Jesus real to them in their everyday lives. They had no written word to light their way, to nourish their spirits and to reassure them that God was with them when life was tough and when the enemy of their souls harassed them and tried to lure them back into sin. They had no past with Jesus to secure them to their unknown future.

Like their ancestor Abraham, they had the promises of God to guide them towards their future like a distant light in a very dark cave. To this they clung and faced their tormentors and certain death because, in the depth of their hearts they were sure that death was not the end. Like a shipwrecked man in a vast ocean, they had a single lifejacket that kept them afloat and they refused to let go.

Did they know that they were not alone, that there was an army of people who would join them in their search for the permanent dwelling God had promised to those who remained faithful to Him? What lay ahead for those who refused to trade the temporary pleasures of sin in a short and transient life for an uncertain future?

It was their confidence in the promises of God that secured for them their place in His hall of faith. That alone was enough to gain them a standing in righteousness which no amount of good works would secure. It is trust in God’s word alone that pleases God. Just imagine that! He values our trust in Him far more than anything we can do to try to gain His favour. When we take Him seriously, believe what He says and act in obedience to His instructions, we become fully accepted and reckoned as righteous.

It is on this basis that God releases us from the penalty of our past because Jesus paid our debt and secured the forgiveness of our sin and a place in His family. But, if we don’t believe Him, there is no way that we can ever enjoy the benefits of what He did for us. How tragic that there is a world of people for whom Jesus died but they either don’t know it or they refuse to believe and receive His forgiveness because they think they know better.

We must never be like the philosopher, Bertrand Russell who said, “Forgiveness is a beggar’s refuge. We must pay our debts.” How sad that his pride prevented him from enjoying a place in God’s family which is reserved only for those who believe what He says.

Is belief in God’s forgiveness a form of escapism? It might be if it is based on wishful thinking but it cannot be if it is based on the historical fact of the execution of a righteous man and the indisputable reality of His resurrection. All these who died in faith, choosing to remain loyal to God despite the treatment they received at the hands of people hostile to Him, await the resurrection promised through Jesus. They share in the hope that believers in Jesus carry in their hearts.

We are all in it together.

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Have you read my new book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (copyright 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!

Available on www.amazon.com in paperback, e-book or kindle version or order directly from the publisher at www.partridgepublishing.com.

Check out my blogsite at www.learningtobeason.wordpress.com

Luella Campbell


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