This message by Rev. Paul Burleson was delivered at Trinity Baptists Church during a series of meetings entitled “Week of Renewal.” Rev. Burleson spoke to us from Hebrews 12:1-2.
1. “Cloud of witnesses” refer to the martyrs in Hebrews 11.
2. There are three kinds of suffering referred to in the Bible:
“Jesus” kind because of devotion
“Job” kind because of development
“Jonah” kind because of disobedience
The writer of Hebrews is saying when you encounter the first two kinds of suffering, remember all of these faithful ones in Hebrews 11.
3. The writer to the Hebrews knew that many Christians do not finish well.
4. We all want to end well. What does it take to end well in our walk with God? That is what this series of meetings is about. Nobody has it all together. Being faithful on the journey in putting it all together is what we need to strive for.
A Two-point Sermon:
1. If we are going to end well, endure in the race that we are in, be able to hear Jesus say “Well done.” then we are going to have to “remove the weights.” What are the weights? Things that use to be helpful, but now have become harmful. They are good things that have now produced a bad result.
The biggest hinderances to the Christian faith are going to church, singing in the choir, preaching a sermon, being a deacon, teaching SS class; if they become a substitute for Christianity. Christianity is not what we do but who we are because of who Jesus is and what he did. Christianity is a relationship with God through Jesus.
2. We need to reject every entanglement. Drinking, smoking, and dancing used to be what we thought to be entanglements. Our marriages, our parenting, and our jobs have become the source of what makes life worth living, and they are not. They are wonderful resources, but they are not the source. If we are going to end well, we are going to have to have eyes for Jesus alone. Not for the denomination, because it will fail you. Not for your church, because it will fail you. Jesus will never fail you. We need to do all for him and him alone.