Sermon on Hebrews 13:1-8
Text: Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. 2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. 3 Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. 5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” 6 So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
7 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. 8 acheter viagra Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
In some areas of life, if things stay the same, we grow weary of it. For example, if this is the third or fourth time you’ve eaten the same leftovers, you get tired of them. If you do the exact same things every day, you long for a change. There are certain things that need to be different in our lives from time to time. There are, also, things we like to have the same time and again. We like to know that certain foods are being prepared the exact same way, because we’ve grown accustomed to their taste. We like to know that our jobs are there waiting for us. We receive comfort in knowing some things don’t change. We receive our greatest comfort from the last words of our text this morning, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” We look at these words of Scripture under the theme: JESUS CHRIST IS ALWAYS THE SAME. 1. Be Assured That You Can Trust In Him To Eternity. 2. Be Happy You Can Serve Him Now.
We all like people who are trustworthy. If they tell you something, you know it is true. If they say that they are going to do something, you know that it is as good as done. They’ve shown themselves to be someone that you can count on. This is all the more true with our Savior Jesus Christ. Our God has proven himself to be faithful to his promises.
Throughout the Old Testament, God made many promises. He promised Abraham that he would be the ancestor of a great nation. We see the fulfillment of this promise on the Old Testament as the nation of Israel grew. God promised Jacob, as he left the land of Canaan, that his descendants would come back to the land. It took 400 years, but they did return. God promised the nation of Judah that they would come home from exile in Babylon after seventy years, and it happened just as God said. Every promise he made to the nation of Israel was fulfilled.
Of course, the greatest promise made in the Old Testament did not find its fulfillment until the New Testament. Throughout the Old Testament God promised to send a Savior from sin. This promise was made to generation after generation. Finally, in God’s good time, he fulfilled his promise by sending his Son into the world. God has kept every promise he ever made. Because God has promised, we can believe in his promises. They will happen. We can believe his promise of eternal life, because he has said it will happen. Let us rely on the unchanging promises of our God.
There is also something comforting about the fact that our God never changes, and that is in regard to our salvation. God has said that he will only accept 100% perfection in our lives. Jesus said in Matthew 5:48, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Because no one could be perfect, God sent his Son to be our salvation. He sent his Son to pay the price for our sins. All of our debt was paid in full. We receive all of the benefits of this by believing in Jesus as our Savior. John 3:16 tells us, “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” This is the system that God set up from the beginning. This is the way that we are saved.
We count on this because God’s feelings toward us remain the same. Imagine if they did not. Suppose God was fickle in his feeling toward us, as we often are toward others. Suppose he decided to change the rules and we have to live a perfect life to be saved. Suppose he didn’t accept Jesus’ perfect sacrifice for our sins. What if God decided to hold a grudge against us and not forgive our sins completely? What if God decided to keep bringing back some sins to charge us with? What a horrible thought! We would never know whether we were saved or not! We would spend our lives wondering. Thanks be to God, for he is not like that! He has promised that our sins are completely gone and forgiven, that they have been paid for in full by our Savior, Jesus Christ. As we learn from Psalm 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” God has told us that our sins are gone and we stand holy in his sight. We are comforted to know that his feelings for us do not change, but that he loves us as his dear children. We know that we can trust in him to take us home to himself, because he has promised this blessing to us. May we place our confidence in him, knowing that he will not let us down.
What will our response be to the love that God has shown us? If someone does something nice for us, we say “Thank you.” We teach our children to say “Thank you.” Sometimes, we would do well to remember to practice what we preach. We say “Thank you” to God for all that he has done for us. We want to show our love for him. How can we do this? 1 John 5:3 tells us: “This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.” We serve our God with pleasing lives on the earth, dedicated to showing our love for him.
The first portion of our text tells us several different ways that we can serve God. As you hear them, you may be reminded of the Second Table of God’s 10 Commandments. God’s 10 Commandments serve as a good guide to help us serve our loving God.
We read in verses 1-3, “Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” These are all applications of the Fifth Commandment that tells us “You shall not murder.” We are to be concerned about the physical welfare of others. How do we do this? “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” We are hospitable, and not just to our friends. We go out of our way to help others. If we see the need of others, we help in whatever way we can. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we give out money to everyone who asks us. We are also to be wise stewards of the things that God has given us. However, if there is a way that we can help, we do so. The writer to the Hebrews mentions those who entertained angels and did not know it. Abraham and Lot both did so. What was their reason for doing so? It was not to gain something, but out of love for people.
The writer to the Hebrews mentions those in prison and those being mistreated. We can visit them as well. Perhaps someone is confined to their home or a nursing home. We can help them, if they have a task that needs doing, or if only to sit and visit to fill empty hours. We serve our God by being hospitable to others.
Another way is found in verse four, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” This, of course, is in reference to the Sixth Commandment. How often don’t we see this commandment attacked? The devil is very busy with his temptations to be sexually immoral. He tempts us through movies, TV, books, songs, etc. We are tempted to tell an off-color story, or at least listen when someone else is telling one. Husbands and wives are tempted to be selfish, looking out for their own interests rather than the interest of their spouse. Marriages are broken buy levitra us real for non-biblical reasons. Satan tries to cover it all up by using terms such as, “free love, an alternate lifestyle, an affair, fantasy, etc.” We are told in no uncertain terms that these are all sins. They are things that a person who wants to say “Thank you” to God with his life will want to avoid.
If there is one area where Satan works harder to tempt us to sin than to break the Sixth Commandment, it is probably the Ninth and Tenth Commandments, which say, “You shall not covet.” “To covet” means to have a sinful desire for something. We live in a society that teaches us we need more and more and better and better. You can’t be happy with the old; you need something new. We are tempted to join in this type of thinking. This is just the opposite of what God wants us to do. We read in verse five, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” Be happy with what God has given you. Do not worry about things. God has promised that he will always be with us. This is another promise of God that you can trust in. Showing your confidence that the Lord will provide is a way that we can serve God, as we await the glories that are ours in heaven. You can trust in God’s promises.
In Yellowstone Park, there is a geyser called Old Faithful. It is called that because it erupts on a regular schedule. However, over the years, the time between eruptions has gotten longer and longer. God’s promises do not vary from one time to the next. He has promised and he will fulfill. He has said that we are saved and we can believe him. Let us continue to live our lives as a “Thank you” to God. Our expressions of love will be imperfect, like that of a child giving a hand-drawn picture to his parents. It is not beautiful in itself, but it is the love that makes it beautiful. Let us thank our God for his continued love. May we draw comfort in our ever-changing world from Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Amen.
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