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  • Mar 08 / 2020
  • Comments Off on God Wants to Save Someone through You (Hebrews 11:31, Joshua 2:1, 6:25)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

God Wants to Save Someone through You (Hebrews 11:31, Joshua 2:1, 6:25)

Full 2020.03.08 Worship Service online

Download Notes in a .MD file

God wants to save someone through you

Hebrews 11:31; Joshua 2:1, 6:25 (Pastor Heo)

Hebrews 11:31 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.

Joshua 2:1 Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.

Joshua 6:25 But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho-and she lives among the Israelites to this day.


We have faith in Jesus – the power to see the unseen. God is spirit – this means he is a person, alive, eternal, but not material. God is anywhere, everywhere at the same time.

If you can see God by faith, where you are, then God is there because he is the most holy God. God bless us all with his peace and joy.


Last Sunday we saw the demonstration of faith by Joshua and his people. They entered Jericho and circled it 13 times. The last time, they shouted the shout of faith – crying the cry of faith to God. With the shouting and trumpet blast, the wall of Jericho collapsed totally by the power of God.

In this complete destruction, there was one person, saved from this destruction – Rahab (and her family).

Her background is in Joshua 2.

We know Exodus – in the early stages:

  1. Moses sent 12 spies into the Promised Land.
  2. Then 40 years passed and they entered the entrance of the Promised Land, Canaan.
  3. They needed to spy it out again because the whole older generation was gone and Moses was no longer with them.
  4. So the new leader, Joshua – one of the original 12 spies, sent out 2 new spies to investigate the fortifications of Jericho.
  5. Only 2 men went Jericho and entered a hotel – the house of Rahab. The king there heard this and sent soldiers to arrest the spies.

Rahab hid the spies on her roof and later said to them, “I know God has given this land to you – the whole land is in fear because of you. Your God is the real God of heaven and earth.” This means Rahab saw the unseen.

Rahab asked them, “Swear to me to show me and my family kindness because I have shown you kindness.” They said, “OK, put a scarlet cord on the window of your house. When we destroy the city, we will spare you and your family when we see the scarlet cord. But remember, if anyone goes outside your house, we will not be responsible for their destruction. But anyone inside your house, we will be responsible for their deliverance.”

Joshua 2:1 Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.

Joshua 6:25 But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho-and she lives among the Israelites to this day.

This means, Rahab saw the unseen – she demonstrated her faith in God by welcoming the spies. She trusted herself and her family to God when Jericho was destroyed completely. We don’t know how many nor who exactly were inside the house of Rahab, but what is sure is that everybody who was inside the house of Rahab was spared from total destruction – due to the scarlet cord hanging over her window.

Scarlet = blood color

This scarlet cord reminds us of the blood of the Passover Lamb which had happened 40 years earlier when they left Egypt. Also, that night, anyone inside the house with the blood of the Passover Lamb was saved from the destruction of the first born.

This means, what happened with Rahab compares with the Passover Lamb. This is a symbol of the blood of Jesus Christ – shed on the cross for us – who takes away the sin of the world.

1 Cor 5:7 “Jesus Christ is our Passover Lamb who has been sacrificed for our sin, justification, salvation.”

This means, through the story and action of Rahab, we can know that true faith must always show itself in good works.

Remember the book of James – this book makes it clear that true faith produces works. It uses 2 people as examples of true faith: Abraham and Rahab. This is amazing.

This means that Abraham and Rahab are presented as parallels in the same level of faith.

“Abraham was justified by works when he offered up his son on the altar. Like this, Rahab was justified by faith when she received the spies and sent them away safely.”

The point: Abraham’s faith was costly – Rahab’s faith was costly. True faith shows up in action – even when it costs.

Simple question: Is our faith real? Can it be seen in our action? Are we willing to let it cost us something? We can, we will if our faith is real.

Also true faith helps us to turn around and do what is right regardless of our past or what others may think.

Yes, we are now studying the great chapter of faith. Until now, we have seen individual persons “by faith…” Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abram, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Rahab…

Among all of them, Rahab is the ONLY woman: a Gentile, pagan, prostitute. She is the LAST listed “by faith.”

This means that God’s works are not limited by people’s limitations. He can do GREAT things through people who are not great. He is doing extraordinary things through ordinary people. He uses all kinds of people to accomplish his job, his purpose, his design. He wants to use you and me because God is great.

Through this story of Rahab, remember: nobody can give an excuse for not believing in Jesus Christ.

Yes, in this story we can know who was Rahab, so we must know the sentence, “I don’t know very much about the Bible can NOT be an excuse for not knowing Christ. She knew very little spiritual truth, but she acted on what she knew.”

Romans “From the beginning of the world, God’s divine powers and eternal attributes can be seen, so that no one can boast.”

In my experience, I’ve met so many people who said, “I’m too bad to be saved.” But no one is too bad. This woman was a prostitute, but delivered by her faith through God.

1 Tim “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinner, of whom I’m the worst.”

“The son of God did not come into the world for the healthy, but for the sick.”

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he saved his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish.”

There is no one in this world who cannot be saved. God wants everyone to come to him and be saved.

Also, we can get a great lesson from this story to enjoy and apply in our lives.

Rahab received not only salvation from this destruction, but also glorification.

You know, Joshua 6:25 “…She lives [present tense] among the Israelites to this day.” What does this mean? In the church history, Rahab became an ancestor of Jesus Christ. She married an Israelite named Salmon – the father of Boaz, father of Obed, father of Jesse, father of David. This means, she is the great great grandmother of King David.

In Matthew 1, we can also see her name in the genealogy of Jesus.

Imagine, a prostitute becoming an ancestor of Jesus Christ, the savior of the world. That’s what faith can do.

In our story, sin, just like Rahab’s story – if we have faith, it will be rewarded in glory.

Romans 8:18 “Our present sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory that awaits.”

Romans 8:30 “And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”

Cols 3 “When Jesus Christ appears, you also will appear will him in Jesus Christ….”

God is working his purposes through his people, but he does not expect perfection from us because he knows how weak we are. He gives grace, mercy, wisdom, compassion, even faith. But he does expect us to take action because of our faith. He expects us to hang a scarlet cord over our windows in faith. Still today, he wants to save our families.

Acts “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you and your household will be saved.” Still today, God wants to save our family, our household, our neighbors, our friends, through us.

God bless us as a heavenly channel of salvation, justification, and glorification.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 01 / 2020
  • Comments Off on By Faith, Today’s Jerichos will fall down (Hebrews 11:30, Joshua 6:1, 20)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

By Faith, Today’s Jerichos will fall down (Hebrews 11:30, Joshua 6:1, 20)

March 1, 2020 Full online service

Download Notes in a .MD file

Let us shout: “Hallelujah!”

Hebrews 11

30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days.

Joshua 6

1 Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.

20 When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city. 


“Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

Christianity = hope for a better future. The best is yet to come because we are made to live eternally. By faith we see God who is in control of everything – working for the good of those who love him and have been called according to his purpose.

Last Sunday, Moses’ faith.
Today, Joshua’s faith (Moses successor).

The people of Israel came out of Egypt for the Promised Land, and Moses led them in the wilderness for 40 years up to the entrance of the Promised Land. At that moment, Moses was succeeded by Joshua. And at last, the people entered the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua. But the Promised Land was not a furnished apartment, nor an empty land. Even though they received it, they had to fight to take and occupy it.

How about in our story? We are saved: salvation guarantees eternal, exciting, heavenly life, but salvation does not mean “easy life” nor a jobless life. Rather, we are entrusted with a task, a great mission to fight for and fulfill in this world.

In this world, the first enemy they fought against was Jericho city – a fortified stronghold. At that time, most of the Israelites had never even seen a fortified city. So, to take that fortified city, it seemed impossible. It was impossible to conquer. But Joshua 6:1 says, “Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.”

At this moment, God said to Joshua, “I have given this city into your hands” – and he gave clear, explicit instructions to follow. Just, they had to MARCH. Today is the first day of March.

They had to circle the walls of the city once per day for 6 days, and on the 7th day, to circle it 7 times.

The order:

  • Line 1: Soldiers
  • Line 2: 7 priests with trumpets
  • Line 3: Priests carrying the ark of the Covenant
  • Line 4: Representatives of each tribe
  • Last line: Rear guard of soldiers
  • Middle: Ark of the Covenant
  • The 7 priests blew trumpets occasionally.

Very important: They had to keep silent. They had to remain absolutely silent during the march and circling. But on the 7th day, they had to march 7 circles – 6 of which were to be silent. During the final, 7th circle, all priests blared the trumpets and Joshua commanded the people to SHOUT!! “God has given this city into our hands!” They all shouted together.

At that moment, the walls of Jericho collapsed completely and the people charged straight in and took that city.

This is today’s story.

Also still, God is alive and working for the good of those that love him.

From this story, what messages can we get to get REAL victory for his glory and kingdom? Let me share 3 lessons in our daily lives for victory like this story.

1. SILENCE

During their circling, they had to keep absolute silence. They took 13 circles in all (you can calculate it). Once a day for 6 days and after that on the 7th day, 7 circles. 6 + 7 = 13 circles. Then, during 12 circles, they had to keep perfect silence.

Imagine this situation. To keep silent in this situation was VERY difficult. During their circling, there was no change. No reaction, no stone falling, no cracks in the wall. Nothing happened in their visual situation. Imagine, why were they not allowed to speak to each other. If they spoke during the march, probably they would speak only negative words. “Nothing is happening. What are we doing? I don’t know, Joshua said to… This is absurd, ridiculous. Maybe we need a new leader…”

Negative words have a VERY strong power to make other people negative. Negative words are very contagious – like corona virus today.

This time not to speak to people was the time to meditate on the promise of God and the word of God. It was the time to speak to God deeply, earnestly, silently. It was the time to think MORE of what God can do with his power than what I can do with my power.

The secret to a victorious Christian life?
To face God more than facing man.

2. Consider the influence of ONE person’s faith

Do you have faith? Yes, we have faith. The taking of Jericho is the result of an act of faith – of Joshua and also the people.

Heb 11:30 “By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days.”

Joshua’s dynamic sureness enabled him to lead the people to victory. One person’s faith can make all the difference for God’s people.

Joshua’s faith communicated and elevated the whole nation’s faith. Likewise today, if you live by faith, you can energize others. You can mobilize others by faith in Christ. Because God is in control of everything. God used Abram, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua.

  • God promised “I am with you” to Moses
  • to Joshua, “Like I was with Moses, I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
  • and Jesus today says, “Surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.”

We can mobilize and energize through our faith for the whole church to be energized in their faith.

3. SHOUT!

“Hallelujah~!”

Yes, in this story, they were silent when they needed to be silent, but they shouted when they had to shout. This was the shouting of faith – the outward expression of people’s inward assurance and confidence in God. Conquering faith declares itself. Do you have faith?

But understand that the faith that does not shout when it must shout is not faith. Romans 10:10 “If you confess [shout] with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, you will be saved.”

“If you acknowledge me before men, I will also acknowledge you before my Father in heaven. If you deny me before men, I will deny you before my Father in heaven.”

  • True faith obeys even when it seems strange or unusual.
  • True faith focuses on Jesus.
  • True faith sees the unseen. It sees that “he is with me – and working all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.”
  • True faith allows us to achieve victory in the Lord.

Even today, God will make impossible looking Jerichos fall down by faith.

What are your Jerichos today? If we live by faith, God will make all Jerichos fall down.

Last sentence: I want to encourage all of us strongly:

“Let us take much silent time faithfully before God, and let us shout boldly before this world.”

If God is for us, who can be against us?

God bless us for his glory, for our good.

God is good all the time. All the time, God is good.

Let’s pray.

  • Feb 23 / 2020
  • Comments Off on The Demonstration of Faith through Moses (Hebrews 11:23-29, Exodus 2:1-2)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Demonstration of Faith through Moses (Hebrews 11:23-29, Exodus 2:1-2)

Download Notes in a .MD file

The Demo of Faith thru Moses

Hebrews 11:23-29, Exodus 2:1-2 (Pastor Heo)

Hebrews 11:23 By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.

24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.

29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.

Exodus 2:1 Now a man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, 2 and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months.


Faith is conviction, assurance of what is unseen. By faith in Christ, we can have hope in this kind of situation. We can have hope in glory, heaven, eternal life. Also, by faith, we can live a heavenly life on this earth.

Last Sunday, we saw the demonstration of faith by Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.

We know Genesis finishes with the story of Joseph. And the story of Moses begins in Exodus. In the time of Joseph, there was still great famine in Canaan, and he invited his whole family from Canaan to Egypt – where he was Prime Minister. So, all Jacob’s children and grandchildren (70 in all) settled in Egypt. But Joseph knew that a day would come when they would leave Egypt. They knew their settlement was not permanent, but temporary. “One day, God will come and take you out of this land to the Promised Land. At that time, take my bones with you.” From the death of Joseph to the beginning of Exodus was 400 years.

They ended Genesis with 70 people, and became 1-2 million by the start of Exodus (400 years later).

A new king, who did not know Joseph became king and became afraid of the people becoming bigger and bigger. So he ordered that the boy babies be killed. In this terrible, dangerous time, Moses was born.

Now in Hebrews, we saw “by faith” x5.

1. Moses’ parents’ faith (and his preservation)

v. 23 “By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.”

  • Moses’ father: Amram
  • Moses’ mother: Jocebeth?

They disobeyed the king by faith. They knew that God had a special plan and purpose for Moses. So “by faith” they hid him for 3 months. But after 3 months, they could no longer hide him because of his crying. They had nothing to do for their child. But we must remember that it was at the very moment that they had something great to do for their loving child – to entrust him to the hand of God – by faith, with prayer. In this terrible, dangerous situation, they made a box of papyrus and tar and pitch, and they put it outside among the reeds along the Nile river.

It is not difficult to imagine what they did after they put that box outside. They knew that God had a special plan upon that child. Is it possible, after putting that box outside to say, “Goodbye, good luck”? No. We can be easily sure what they did after putting that baby box outside. They cried out continually to God, “LORD! Help us!”

If you were in the place of Moses’ mother and father, you would continually cry out also for God’s providence upon that box.

We know that Christian parents can suddenly create an atmosphere of faith at home. This should be the first school of faith – at home.

“They knew he was no ordinary child.” (In a sense, every child is like this to their parents – maybe even geniuses to their parents.) If you are Christian parents, remember, the BEST thing you can do for your son or daughter is to entrust them into the hand of God with constant prayer support. God bless Christian parents.

2. Moses’ identity

v. 24-26 “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.”

Yes, after putting that basket outside, his parents prayed continuously. His sister Miriam stood at a distance to see what would happen to that box.

At that moment, Pharaoh’s daughter came to the Nile river to swim? She saw it and her slave girl opened it. She saw a beautiful baby crying. (We also should cry out before God to receive his mercy – Jer 30:33 “Cry out to me and I will show you unmeasurable things”). Seeing that crying baby the princess had compassion. Immediately, Miriam approached her and said, “May I get a Hebrew woman to nurse this baby for you?” “Yes, OK.” Immediately, she brought the baby’s real mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said, “Please nurse this baby for me and I’ll pay you.”

Imagine this situation. God did something so amazing and so exciting! Sometimes we need to understand that God is doing SO MUCH MORE than we understand and imagine and expect.

This baby was saved from death, adopted by the princess, given the best education and food, raised by his real mother’s milk and love.

In this situation, our lesson is: If Moses wanted, he could identify himself with the Egyptians – as the royal family, an heir of Pharaoh. He could have chosen the easiest, most comfortable life. He could have chosen the pleasures of sin. But in this situation, Moses rejected – refused all of them. Why? How? “By faith…” This is the real power of faith. He chose to be mistreated by the people of God – he chose to suffer “for the sake of Christ.” But wait – Moses lived 1500 years before Jesus was even born. Yet v 26 “He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ…”

Even Christ himself says, “Moses wrote about me, Moses testified about me.” (John’s gospel)

This means that God’s history of salvation and redemption continued through until the birth of Christ. And Christ gave up all his glory for our sake, our salvation, our redemption.

We must know: Are you Christian? If you believe in Christ as Savior and Lord, then you have no choice but to live for Christ.

“Believing in Christ as real Savior and Lord and NOT living for him is impossible.”

  • “Believe” = “Be” and “live”
    • “Be” for Christ
    • “Live” for Christ

So, we must choose careers and life paths that please God.

Therefore, our identity as Christians is so important.

3. Moses’ separation

v 27 “By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.”

The background – found in Exodus 2. One day, when he was grown, he went out to see how the fellow Hebrews were. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, so he killed him. The king heard of that and tried to kill Moses – so Moses fled to Midian. In this same situation, there is a little difference in the Exodus and the Hebrews explanation.

  • Exodus: “Moses feared, so he fled.”
  • Hebrews: “Moses left ‘by faith’.”

This is a different perspective – they seem contradictory – but there is no real contradiction.

  • Exodus = viewing the outward situation
  • Hebrews = seeing more deeply into this story

Yes, Moses did not choose this situation by himself at first. But, when he was confronted by this situation to leave, he didn’t accepted it willingly, with courage. Moses knew that then was not the time for him to take action for his people. He knew he had to wait for God to say, “NOW is the time to go to Pharaoh and take action for my people.”

Sometimes, when our fighting instincts say, “Go on and fight!” But it takes a big and brave man to WAIT. It is human to fear to miss the chance. But it is great to wait for the timing of God. So, by faith, we can see God in all situations.

Today, our situation is good or bad? Bad, they say. But even in this situation, we must see God who is unseen, and we must understand that he is in control of everything. This is the real power of faith.

4. Moses’ salvation

v 28 “By faith by kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.”

Background: Exodus 12

We know the Passover, the biggest feast in Hebrew history. Spiritually and symbolically, this is also the most significant. It was the 10th and final judgment on Egypt.

Unleavened bread had to be made, and a Passover lamb killed, and every door post smeared with the blood of the lamb. Then, the angel of death would see this blood and “pass over” those houses.

Not only this Passover lamb, but also on that night, as they were leaving Egypt, Moses wrote down that they must keep the Passover forever. In other words, he never doubted that they would leave Egypt and reach and conquer the Promised Land – at some point.

Imagine: Here is a population of 1-2 million slaves – untrained, unorganized, about to start on a dangerous journey through a wilderness, into an unknown land. At the same time, here is a massive, trained, armed force pursuing them.

Yet, Moses never doubted that God would bring them safely through to the Promised Land. This is the power of faith. Are you living by faith.

1 Cor 5:7 “Jesus Christ is our Passover Lamb who has been crucified for our sins.” Thus, John the Baptist, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.”

Even though we are very weak and do not know what will happen to us tomorrow, our situation, corona virus, whatever, nevertheless, our situation is VERY certain in the hands of our Savior, Jesus Christ. This is the real power of faith.

5. Moses’ Deliverance

v. 29 “By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.”

Exodus: They were confronted with their first barrier. Yes, we know that our salvation is very safe, but nevertheless, there are many barriers we may face. This is the first: The Red Sea – they needed a way to continue but there was no way – because the soldiers of Egypt were pursuing them very rapidly behind.

In this situation (Exodus 14) Moses proclaimed, “Do not be afraid!” (Front: sea, Back: soldiers) “Stand firm! You will see the deliverance and salvation God will bring you today. The soldiers you see today, you will NEVER see again because God is fighting for us.”

Romans 8 “God is working all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.”

The real source, the source of real faith – what is the greatest barrier? It is NO barrier if God is there to help us pass over it because God is Almighty. Do you agree? Then, accept it and enjoy it. This is a fact.

The source of real faith is close intimacy in our relationship with God. For Moses, the source of real faith = close intimacy in his relationship with God. Bible says, “Moses spoke to God face to face.”

Also for us:

Source of Faith = Real intimacy with God

Hebrews conclusion? “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus Christ, who is the author and perfecter of our faith.”

Remember, the source of real faith is closeness, intimacy in our relationship with Jesus Christ.

Chp 12:2

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus Christ, who is the author and perfecter of our [my] faith.”

Let’s pray.

  • Feb 16 / 2020
  • Comments Off on You Are to Live for Eternity (Hebrews 11:20-22; Genesis 50:22-26)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

You Are to Live for Eternity (Hebrews 11:20-22; Genesis 50:22-26)

Download Notes in a .MD file

You are to live for Eternity

Hebrews 11:20-22; Genesis 50:22-26 (Pastor Heo)

Hebrews 11

20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.

21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.

22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.

Genesis 50

The Death of Joseph

22 Joseph stayed in Egypt, along with all his father’s family. He lived a hundred and ten years 23 and saw the third generation of Ephraim’s children. Also the children of Makir son of Manasseh were placed at birth on Joseph’s knees.

24 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” 25 And Joseph made the sons of Israel swear an oath and said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.”

26 So Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten. And after they embalmed him, he was placed in a coffin in Egypt.

Hebrews 11

20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.

21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.

22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.

When Isaac went to give the blessing to Esau, he was tricked by his wife and son Jacob. When he blessed Jacob the first time, in the trick, he knew that his future blessing would go through Jacob, so later, he blessed Jacob again with full knowledge of this. (This is v. 20)

Jacob had 12 sons and these sons became the Father of the 12 tribes of Israel. So, when his death was near, he blessed them with prophecies and blessings. He also blessed Joseph’s two sons. These were his grandsons.

Manasseh was the first – so he was put on the right hand of Jacob. Ephraim was on the left side because he was the second son.

At that time, Jacob could not see because he was dying, yet he crossed his arms to bless them. His right hand on Ephraim’s head, his left hand on Manasseh’s head. Joseph said, “No father! This is the first son!”

Jacob: “I know. He will be a great nation, but the second will be greater.” By knew (by faith) and blessed them (by faith) according to the will of God.

v. 22

“22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.”

Joseph was the last patriarch and lived a great life of faith. He remembered God’s purpose and plan for him and his descendants. His story:

  1. Sold by his brothers into slavery in Egypt (at age 17)
  2. Sold again to an official in Egypt (and thrown in jail)
  3. Because of his fear of God, he was eventually promoted to Prime Minister.
  4. He lived until 110.

This means he lived in Egypt 90 years – and he became Prime Minister at age 30 (so he was in the highest position – with power – for about 80 years in Egypt). If he had wanted to, he could have set up his own empire in Egypt as his home. But, amazingly, during his stay, he never considered Egypt as his home. He always considered himself a stranger / foreigner / not a citizen in Egypt – because he remembered God’s promise to his great grandfather Abraham.

He made his children swear to carry his bones out of Egypt when God delivered them. So, these descendants passed his will down generation to generation for 400 years until they were delivered. And finally, Joseph’s mummy (embalmed) was carried out to Canaan where Joshua conquered the land.

What we can learn:

1. To bless others is very important.

  • Jacob blessed his children and grandchildren by faith.
  • Joseph blessed his children and brothers by faith.
  • Parents are given the responsibility / blessing to bless their own children.

In this passage, each person’s life is summarized not by how they lived, but by how they died. Someday, our lives also will be characterized by how we finish this life.

Are you living by faith?

Living by faith is very important. But dieing by faith is MORE important. To die by faith requires us to live by faith.

Say to yourself: “I’m not an accident.”

Your birth is no mistake, no mishap. Perhaps your parents did not plan your birth, but GOD DID. That is why we are here, now, today.

God was not surprised by your birth nor my birth. Long before you were conceived, you were chosen and thought of by God.

Eph “You were chosen before the foundation of the world by Jesus Christ to be holy and blameless in his sight.”

God thought of you before anyone else (he thought of you first). God deliberately designed and decided our days, our times, our birthplaces, the times of our birth and death. He planned where we would be born and where we would live.

This life is very SHORT. At most – less than 100 years. But remember, we will spend eternity in heaven. More than anything else, we were created to live for eternity. We have an inborn instinct to live for eternity. This is because God designed us to live for eternity.

Ecc 3:11 “God has made everything beautiful in its time. And he has set eternity in the minds / hearts of Man.”

But we don’t fully understand what he is doing from beginning to end.

You know, someday, your heart, my heart, will stop beating. This is the end of this body on earth, but it is not the end of you and me. It is just a transition into eternity.

Are you not happy about physical death? But today’s passage mentions Isaac’s death, Jacob’s death, and Jacob’s death. You know the last verse in Genesis is “Joseph died…”

We must be serious about the matter of life and death. The Bible calls our physical body a “tent.”

2 Cor “Now we know that if our tents (physical bodies) are destroyed, we have a house in heaven not built by human hands.”

So, in all this we must live in the light of eternity. We were created to live for eternity.

The main point of this story:

Isaac, Jacob, Joseph received the promise from God, but they never entered the Promised Land in their lifetimes. They never received the promise – Israel never became a great nation, they all lived as strangers in this world. But they didn’t die in despair, but in hope.

Their thoughts and beliefs / faith were like this: God’s promise and plan is VERY SURE and he never breaks his promise. I, personally, may never see that promise fulfilled, but I’m a link in the chain to its fulfillment. So, whether or not that promise comes, depends on me.

We must take the same lesson:

Do you have hope?

Maybe they will NEVER be fulfilled in our lifetimes, but we must live in such a way as to hasten their coming for future generations. And our FINAL HOPE is the fulfillment of the Great Commission. Matt 24? “This gospel will be preached in the whole world, and THEN the end will come.” Great Commission: Matt 28 “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And surely I’m with you to the very end of the age.”

This Great Commission may not be fulfilled in our lifetimes, but it WILL be fulfilled. Do you believe this? Therefore, we must be a LINK – we must be connected for the fulfillment of the Great Commission. We must live from the perspective of eternity.

Faith makes us able to see beyond the temporary, into eternity. It allows us to see beyond what is seen and into unseen.

If we fully comprehend that there is more to life than the here and now, and that our physical life is only preparation for eternity, then we will begin to live differently.

If we really understand that, then many goals, problems, and plans will seem so small and not worthy of our attention. We must use our Time, Talent, and Treasure more wisely, for eternity. WHO I AM is more important than what I have.

Our attitudes and character is much more important than fame, money, possessions, power. Paul: “What was for my gain, I consider loss compared to the greatness of Christ. I consider all things rubbish so that I might be found in Christ.”

We experienced pregnancy in our mother’s womb. This 9-10 months was not an end in itself, but a preparation for life in this world. Likewise, our 90-100 years on earth is preparation for the next life.

“God has a plan. God has a purpose for my life on earth.”

If you believe God has a purpose and plan for your life on earth, you must know that his plan for you doesn’t end in this world. This is very important.

My physical life will end someday, but God’s plan for me doesn’t end even though I pass away at some point. This is a very important lesson for us.

Ps 33:1 “God’s plans / purposes last forever.”

Heb 13:14 “Here we do not have an enduring city, so we are looking forward to the city that is to come.” This world is not our home, so we are looking forward to our everlasting city in heaven.

So, to make the most of our lives in this world, we must keep the value of eternity in our hearts. Measured against eternity, this life is too short – shorter than the blink of an eye. We must know that even though our lives here are very short, the consequences of our actions on earth are eternal – they decide our relationship to God in eternity.

There are many countries, jobs, hobbies, but eternity offers only two options: heaven vs. hell.

If you accept Jesus Christ, if you believe and trust in Christ as your Savior and Lord on this earth, then you will be invited to spend eternity with God in heaven. But if you reject God’s grace through Jesus Christ, you will spend eternity separated from God. That’s why our lives on earth are so important though they are so short.

We are not living yesterday’s life, nor tomorrow’s. “I’m living TODAY’S life.”

Why is “today” so important?

Because “today” is the first day of the rest of our lives (including eternity). And someday – in the future (which will be called “today” on that day) will be our last day, and it is so important.

v. 20-22

20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.

21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.

22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.”

We are living for the fulfillment of the Great Commission. This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all creation and THEN the end will come.

We may see the fulfillment of this Great Commission in our lives, or we may not. But what is important is that it WILL be fulfilled in God’s time, in God’s way, by those who live BY FAITH. And we must be connected to this.

God bless you.

  • Feb 09 / 2020
  • Comments Off on The Demonstration of Faith through Abraham (Hebrews 11:8-19)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Demonstration of Faith through Abraham (Hebrews 11:8-19)

Download Notes in a .MD file

The Demonstration of Faith through Abraham

Hebrews 11:8-19 (Pastor Heo)

8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

11 By faith Abraham, even though he was past age–and Sarah herself was barren–was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.

13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country–a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 19 Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.


Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not seen (not yet seen).

By faith in Christ, we can “see” God and heaven and eternal life – we can live heavenly life on earth and overcome any problems on this earth. By faith we can please God, and make him happy by our faith.

  • Today’s story is the demonstration of faith through Abraham.
  • Last Sunday: Noah

Abram = 12th generation from Noah. He was born in BC 2000 in Mesopotamia (maybe somewhere in Iraq). God’s calling of Abram is a great turning point in Genesis, human, Jewish history.

Genesis has 50 chapters – and can be divided into 2 parts.

  • Chp 1-11 = Primeval history
  • Chp 12-50 = Patriarchal history

Primeval history =

Creation, flood, spread of language and culture (tower of Babel)

Patriarchal history =

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph

God promised Abram a son, but they waited 25 years for the fulfillment of that promise.

Abram -> Isaac -> Esau / Jacob

Jacob built the nation of Israel through the birth of his 12 sons, and Joseph saved them from a great famine at that time. Many years later, Moses delivered the people from Egypt in the Exodus.

Faith & obedience go together.

Service and action is outward evidence of inward trust and loving hearts.

Today, let us see some characteristics of REAL faith. But first, let me ask: are you living by faith?

#1 Abraham obeyed God even when he didn’t know WHERE he was going.

v. 8-10

“8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”

In Genesis, the background (chp 12) God called Abram and said, “Leave your country – leave your father’s house and go to the land I’ll show you. I’ll make you into a great nation. I’ll make you a blessing, and all nations on earth will be blessed through you.” So… Abram left everything.

Imagine this situation: in this world, in the time of our great grandparents, most people lived in their home village and died there. It was much better to live in your home village than in a foreign land.

4000 years ago, the life of a stranger in a strange land was VERY dangerous. They were met with scorn, discrimination, and hatred.

But Abram left for a foreign land. “Where to?” “I don’t know.”

Can you move to an unknown country? But this faith of Abraham was faith that was ready for adventure.

Most of us live a cautious life on the principle of safety first. But as a Christian, we must have a certain type of wreckless willingness to accept and follow the voice of God who is calling us. Sometimes, we must accept and follow even when we don’t know where we are going.

If you can see EVERY step of the journey, that is not faith – it is sight.

Abram was living in tents, in a foreign land because he had to be ready to move again anytime God called him.

Also, 1 Pet 2:11 says “My dear friends, I urge you as aliens, strangers, and foreigners in this world to abstain from your sinful desires.” We also are strangers and aliens in this world. We must recognize that this world is a bridge to the next world. As Christians, therefore, we should not build our homes on the bridge.

“I’m a pilgrim for eternity.”

v. 10 “He was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” (heaven)

1. By faith, obedience without knowing where he was going.

#2 Abram obeyed even when he didn’t know HOW the promise would be fulfilled.

v. 11-12

“11 By faith Abraham, even though he was past age–and Sarah herself was barren–was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.”

In Genesis 17, Abram was almost 100 years old and Sarai was 90 years old. God appeared again and made the same promise of a son. When Abram heard this, he fell down and laughed. He said, “Will a son be born to a 100 year old man?” Sarai also laughed and said, “Will I now have this kind of pleasure?”

This means, they did NOT believe at first – because they were believing with human logic (it was too late; this promise was too great). But finally, they believed.

Romans 4:18-20 “Against all hope, Abram in hope believed. Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that he was as good as dead, but he did not waver in his faith, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God. He knew nothing is impossible with God.”

In our lives, we can see that there are MANY impossible things. But we must believe that there is NOTHING impossible with God.

This will happen by the power of God, not by the power of Abram nor Sarai. It is IMPOSSIBLE for a 100 year old man to get a son through the womb of his 90 year old wife. From a reproductive point of view, they were “as good as dead.”

But living by faith means believing there is NOTHING impossible with God.

Also with our own salvation, this is the same as how they got a son by the power of God.

Actually, many people do not believe the good news of the gospel. Why not? The message of the gospel is so simple, powerful and clear: Jesus died for your sin and mine, and rose again from the dead. If you believe in him and confess with your mouth he is Lord, you will be saved eternally, once for all.

This is all.

We have nothing to do – because God did everything for our salvation.

But many people don’t believe. Why not? It’s TOO good, too simple, too easy. But, please believe. If you open your hearts and your mouth and confess, you will be saved.

Romans 10:13 “Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

But many people do not believe this good news because the good news is far TOO good to believe.

2. Abram obeyed without knowing HOW the promise would be fulfilled.

#3 Abram obeyed even though he didn’t know WHEN the promise would be fulfilled.

v. 13-16

“13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country–a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”

The “better country” is heaven. Yes, we know God promised Abram land (and children) as an inheritance (also for his children). What land is that? Canaan. It is called the Promised Land.

As we know, in the whole time / life of Abram, that promise was not fulfilled. So, all the time he lived in tents. He never settled in Canaan.

Also, his son Isaac, and grandson Jacob, and great grandson Joseph – never settled in Canaan. They all lived as foreigners in this world. They did not see the fulfillment of that promise before they died. But Abram’s faith had PATIENCE.

To wait is harder than to adventure.

The hardest time is the time in between.

At the moment of decision, there is excitement. At the moment of success, there is satisfaction. But in the in between time… it is necessary to wait… to walk… to watch…

But the “man” (Person) of faith is one whose hope is flaming bright and effort is strenuous – even when there is nothing to do but to wait.

Abram’s faith was faith that was looking beyond this world.

Yes, to be patient is not easy, but the secret: to look BEYOND this world. Also, the conviction / assurance that God WILL keep his promise: either instantly or eternally. Our prayer WILL be answered – but will it be instantly? Or distantly?

Obviously, we all like instant (instant food) – but the answer for them, was distant – distant in heaven.

Despite everything, the Person of faith never loses their vision, nor their hope.

Faith is certain of what we do not see. Faith and hope go together.

And in spite of everything, they never wished to return to their old hometown. This is very important. That’s why God was not ashamed to be called their God.

“I have decided to follow Jesus; no turning back~”

They left and never turned back to Mesopotamia. This is also like us in our Christian lives – we must never wish to “go back” to our lives when we were unbelievers.

From this event, 4-500 years later, God introduced himself to Moses as “I AM the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

God constantly introduced himself as that. Can you imagine today God introduces himself as “I AM the God of [your name]”? He was not ashamed of them.

“Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your minds on things above – not on earthly things.” Jesus challenges us: “Do not let your hearts be troubled; trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father’s house there are many rooms. When I come again, I come to take you with me.”

3. Obeyed without knowing WHEN

#4 (Climax) Abram obeyed even when he didn’t know WHY God was working in unreasonable ways

(This was the supreme test on Abram’s life. Sacrificing Isaac as a burnt offering.)

v. 17-19

“17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 19 Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.”

The background of this story is Genesis 22. God called and said, “Abram! Sacrifice your son Isaac. Your only son, whom you love. Sacrifice him as a burnt offering on the Mount of Moriah.” Immediately, Abram got up and took Isaac and two servants and a donkey and traveled for 3 days.

On the third day, Abram saw the top of the mountain and said to the servants to wait at the bottom with the donkey. “Isaac and I will go up there to worship and WE will come back.”

Then, there were two.

Isaac asked, “Dad, we have wood and fire, but where is the lamb?”

Abram, “God himself will provide.”

Abram got up there, built the altar, and tied up his son (who obeyed like a lamb). Abram reached out his hand with a knife from his pocket and went to kill his son.

But God called from heaven: “Abram! No! Now I know that you love me and fear me. Do not do anything to that boy.” Abram looked around and found a ram and sacrificed the ram instead of Isaac. He called that place: Jehovah Jireh (The Lord will Provide).

And God swore on himself: “I’ll bless you and your descendants and all nations on earth will be blessed through you.” He confirmed his Genesis 12 promise here again.

This was the ultimate, final, supreme test upon Abram.

From this story, we can learn and apply 3 lessons:

Are you Christian?

1. We must be ready to sacrifice what is dearest to me for the sake of loyalty to God.

(What is dearest to you? Money? Kids? Job? Car? House?)

In early church history and also today, this happens.

In a home, one person becomes a Christian, and another does not – and a sword (persecution) came on that home. Unless those people put Christ before all else, there would be NO Christians at all today.

Hundreds of years ago, the light of Christ came to Korea by those who put Christ first. Still today, the message of Christ is being delivered and spread by those who put Christ first. So even today, Christ must come first, or else he comes nowhere in our lives.

Matt “Anyone who loves father, or sister, or brother, or sister, or son, or daughter, or houses, or lands more than me, is not worthy of me.”

In a Christian life, Jesus can ONLY be FIRST. Not second, third, or fourth best. He can be ONLY BEST – or nothing in our lives.

2. We must be ready to accept by faith what is very difficult to understand.

This commandment is very difficult to understand. It looks unreasonable and illogical. God promised to build a great nation THROUGH Isaac. So, to fulfill this promise, Isaac must be alive. Yet, God asked Abram to kill Isaac even when there were no grandchildren from Isaac. God seemed to contradict himself. The will of God fought the promise of God. In such situations, there is only ONE thing to do: OBEY.

We must obey and say, “God, you are good, you are faithful. Even though I don’t know why, but you know why.”

And we must build our faith on that truth.

3. God is faithful

When we are tested and tempted, God will provide a way out so that we can stand up under it. We know that God is working for the good of those who love him and trust him and are called according to his purpose. Phil 4:19 “And my God will meet all your needs according to his riches in Jesus Christ.”

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

  • Feb 02 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Faith is Lifetime Obedience (Hebrews 11:7, Genesis 6:5-13, 22)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Faith is Lifetime Obedience (Hebrews 11:7, Genesis 6:5-13, 22)

Download Notes in a .MD file.

Faith is Lifetime Obedience

Hebrews 11:7, Genesis 6:5-13, 22 (Pastor Heo)

Heb 11:7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

Genesis 6:5-13, 22

5 The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. 6 The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. 7 So the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth-men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air-for I am grieved that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD .

9 This is the account of Noah.

Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. 10 Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.

11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13 So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.

22 [your name] Noah did everything just as God commanded him.


Put your name in the place of Noah and read again.

“Faith is being sure of what we hope for…” – the power to see what is unseen. God, heaven, eternity, salvation – all are unseen. But by faith, we can see them and enjoy them. By faith, we can see the future as present. By faith, we can make the future as a matter of the present – so we can give thanks under any circumstances and rejoice under any circumstances (by faith).

Last Sunday, we saw Enoch’s faith – a demonstration. He walked with God over 300 years (how? we don’t know exactly). But he walked toward the same destination, in the same direction, at the same pace. Then, God took him to heaven and he was on earth no more.

Today: Noah walked with God.

Through this, we can know that the life of faith is not a life of flying up to heaven with wings – but rather a life of continuous walking, step-by-step, in love with, in step with the One who is leading us.

Today: Noah’s demonstration of faith.

Noah: Genesis 6-9 – Noah is well-known for the flood. He is the 10th generation from Adam and the great grandson of Enoch.

We know Adam had at least three sons: Cain, Abel, Seth. Noah is from the line of Seth.

Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham, Japheth. Later, David and Jesus from the line of Shem.

Noah lived 950 years. He was one of those who lived the longest years on this earth. His grandfather Methusela lived 969 years (the longest according to the record of the Bible).

According to this account, at that time, the earth was flooded with violence and corruption. God was sorry and grieving that he made anything. He was going to show his judgment and destroy everything with a great flood. Only Noah, his family, and the representatives of each animal species would be saved.

But it took Noah 120 years to finish this ark. Meaning? God gave the people 120 years LONG last chance to repent and turn from their wicked ways. But no one repented.

This is a great turning point in human history.

  • Adam was the first father of all human beings.
  • Noah was second first father of all human beings.
    • We are children of Adam, and we are children of Noah.

Before the flood, the living conditions were ideal for living creations. So they had longer lives. But afterward, the ecology, environment, etc were changed. Before the flood, we were in a “womb” of earth – the earth was covered with an expanse of water (kept safe from the UV rays of the sun)- but at the flood, all that water came to earth. And afterward, human lifespan reduced rapidly.

Abram was twelfth generation from Adam and lived less.

David lived only 70 years (500 years later).

Psalm 90:10 says, “The length of our days on earth is 70 years.” (If you are healthy – you may live 80 years).

Let’s look at Noah’s faith:

  • Heart (moved with fear and sorrow and reverence to God),
  • mind (focused on God),
  • willpower (acted on what God said to him).

We can see 4 characteristics of faith and learn a lesson for our own lives.

Heb 11:7 “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.”

#1 Noah took God at his word

He believed the message God sent – even though it might have seemed foolish at that time. Yet, he believed and staked everything (also his reputation) on it.

Noah, after receiving that command, he laid aside his normal activities and focused on what God said to him to do. His life was a continuous concentration of effort toward God’s will. And so he was saved from the flood.

Also today, God’s word comes to us through many ways: our conscience, directly from the Bible, the message at church, the advice or rebuke of godly people around us, the guidance of the Holy Spirit. So, we must be sensitive and awakened to the Word and Will and moving of God through the Holy Spirit. How? By believing his Word. How can we trust Jesus? By trusting his Word.

“Have faith in God, also in me.” – Jesus

Romans “Faith comes from hearing the Word of God.”

We can take God at his word. God is speaking to us through his word.

#2 Noah was not deterred / hindered from mockery / scorn / rebuke of others

Imagine the context at that time. At that time, there had NEVER been a flood like this. They had never seen an ark like that, especially not in the middle of the land.

It looked like a huge 3-story coffin / box. They were very FAR from the sea. The sun was shining every day. Noah’s neighbors might ask him: Hey, Noah, what are you doing? What are you making? Noah: A ship. B: What? Why? Noah: God said. There will be heavy rain. All will be covered and destroyed. If you want to live, you must come in with me! B: Are you crazy? You’re out of your mind! (Movie: Evan Almighty is good representation of this)

Obedience = not ONE time obedience but a lifetime of obedience – full-time commitment to the will of God even in the face of scorn and ridicule of others.

Also, think of the church at Jesus’ time: 2000 years ago.

  • A: I’ve decided to become Christian.
  • B: They are outlawed! In prison! Thrown to the lions, burned, persecuted, crucified!
  • A: Yes, I know.
  • B: Are you crazy?

Jesus was also misunderstood as a crazy man. Many people said of him, “He is raving mad! Demon possessed!”

Paul also was misunderstood as a crazy man. He preached the gospel at his trial and some shouted at him, “Paul! Your great learning is driving you insane!”

Also, we are followers of Christ. He is misunderstood as a crazy man to save us. How about you? Have you ever been misunderstood as a crazy person in this life? As a Christian?

This is one of the hardest challenges of Christianity – that we must sometimes be prepared to look like a fool in the eyes of those who don’t believe.

Noah was called “strange” by his neighbors who didn’t know God.

Noah obeyed this command to build a boat in the middle of the land even though it seemed strange. This obedience makes him “different”.

Like this, if you obey God and other people call you “strange” do not be surprised. Our obedience makes their disobedience stand out.

When God asks us to do something, he gives us the necessary strength and power to do it.

“The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing; but to those of us who are being saved, it is the wisdom and power of God. For they didn’t know him.”

“The foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom.” (Is it possible that God is foolish?)

“The weakness of God is stronger than the strength of man.” (Is it possible that God is weak?)

Yet, so often, the wisdom of God appears to be foolishness to the people of this world.

#3 Noah’s faith was a judgment on others

Heb 11:7 “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. *By his faith he condemned the world* and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.”

Actually, Noah did not condemn the world. But his faith was a condemnation on others and a judgment on others. That is why in one sense it is DANGEROUS to be Christian.

In a sense, in this world, to be Christian is a dangerous thing. By being a Christian, your faith is pointing out others’ sin.

It is not that we are self-righteous, not that we say, “I told you so”, not that we go about finding fault with them.

Actually, Noah DID NOT judge others, he didn’t condemn them. But his faith, his trust in God became judgment and condemnation on their unbelief.

Ex: We Christians should be blessing in this world. But if they do not receive the gospel we preach, as Christians, our presence itself is a judgment on them.

If they receive the word we preach, they become blessed through us, and we a blessing to them.

But if they reject it, we become a condemnation to them.

1 John: “Whoever does not believe stands condemned already…”

Man hates the Light – because Man loves the Darkness.

Light comes – and simply by coming, the Darkness is condemned. The Darkness hates the Light because its evil deeds will be exposed.

Jesus says, “You are the Light of the World.” (I’m the Light of the World) “So let your light shine before men so that they may see and praise your Father in heaven.”

Christians’ presence is a big challenge: We are either a blessing or a condemnation to others.

#4 Noah was righteous through faith

Genesis 6:9 “This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.”

He was NOT actually blameless (he made a big mistake after coming off the ark). He is the first person in the Bible who is called “righteous.” This doesn’t mean he was sinless, but that he wholeheartedly served God.

Gen 6:8 “But Noah found favor / grace in the eyes of the LORD.”

Noah was declared righteous by the GRACE of God through faith in God.

Romans: “There is no one righteous, not even one.”

Romans 5:1 “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

But justification by faith has power – it makes us take action to do the will of God. If we are really declared righteous by faith, this non-condemnation leads us to live a righteous life.

Noah: When all others broke the commandments, Noah kept them. When they were deaf to God’s word, Noah heard and obeyed. When they laughed at God, Noah respected, honored, worshiped God.

The first thing he did off the ark: worship God.

Our story: Jesus uses Noah’s experience as a warning to us.

Matt 24 “Heaven and earth will pass away but my Word will remain forever.” (This is just like the flood of Noah) “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the day of the Coming of the Son of Man. They were eating, drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage up to the day that Noah entered the ark. They never knew what would happen until the flood came and took them all away.”

In the warning of Christ, he mentions eating, drinking, and marrying – very negatively. Are these sins? Bad or good? They are good! We must eat! We must drink! Marriage is good! So, why did he mention these things so negatively? Because we must remember, they can never be our final purpose / mission / why we should exist in this world.

They ate, drank, married – as a final purpose in their lives – without trusting God.

Anything we do WITHOUT God in our lives – is a terrible thing. But anything we do WITH God is a holy, acceptable thing.

1 Cor 10:31 “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (this is the conclusion – this is our final purpose / mission / why we exist in this world).

God bless you with this final sentence (memorize it).

Whether you eat or drink, marry or not marry, do it all for the glory of God.

Let’s pray.

  • Jan 26 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Walk by Faith (Hebrews 11:5-6)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Walk by Faith (Hebrews 11:5-6)

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Walk by Faith

Hebrews 11:5-6 (Pastor Heo)

Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Do you please God in your life? Do you want to? How can we do this? According to this verse, only by faith.


Genesis 5:21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. 24 Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.

Enoch’s lived years = the same number of days in the calendar.

“Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

  1. v 1-4 = Description of faith
  2. v 5-end = Demonstration of faith
  • Last week: Abel
  • This week: Enoch

Enoch is one of the mysterious figures in the Bible. In the Bible, there were two Enochs. Cain’s first son’s name was also Enoch. But this Enoch is a different Enoch.

Last week, we saw that because of Abel’s faith, he was killed / murdered.

As for Enoch today, because of faith, he did not experience physical death. What does this mean?

But we cannot say that this means that God shows favoritism, but that he has a different plan for each one of us. God has a plan for each one of us, but because of faith in Christ, we must suffer difficulties, sometimes even persecution for Christ. But in ALL THINGS – we must believe Romans 8 – that “God works all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.”

This Enoch was a long-living man before the Great Flood. But about this story, he was most famous for the incredible thing that happened to him. He lived over 3.5 centuries on earth – can you imagine it? If his life had ended this year in 2020, he would have been born in 1655 – even before George Washington (1732). This is amazing. He is one who lived one of the longest lives – and yet did not experience physical death. He walked with God and God took him up, translated him to himself without physical death. We don’t know HOW that happened though. Whirlwind? Like Elijah? Spiral of a strong tornado.

In the Bible there are only 2 people who did not experience physical death: Enoch and Elijah (2 Kings 2?)

In the twinkling of an eye, his earthly body became a spiritual body. His weak body became a strong, eternal body. This is just a picture / type / shadow of how we will be in Christ one day.

1 Thess 4:16-17 “The Lord will come down with a trumpet sound and the dead in Christ will rise first, and those who still live will be caught up second in the air and we will be together with the Lord forever.”

“I am the Resurrection and the Life. Do you believe this?”

His Rapture is his closer and nearer working with God.

By faith he walked with God, he was taken up, and he was not here.

v. 5 “…before he was taken, he was commended as one who walked with / pleased God.” (walking more clearly reveals HOW he pleased God)

What does this mean?

Have you ever walked with somebody from first to last? Husbands, are you walking with your wives? Wives, are you walking with your husbands? Are you all walking with God in your whole life?

Enoch walked with God for at least 300 years. What does this mean? “walking with God”

We know what this means physically with another person through our experience. Walking with another person suggests a mutual agreement of souls.

If I go right, and you go left, we are not walking together. To walk together, we must:

  1. walk in the same direction and
  2. have the same destination.
  3. We must also be the same in stride, speed, pace. If someone is too fast, and someone is too slow, they cannot walk together.
  4. This also means having continual fellowship and communication on the same path.

Enoch “walked with God” = he was on the same path, at the same speed, communicating, with the same destination. How is this possible? By faith.

So, v. 6 is the conclusion here: (memorize and try to put this verse into practice into your own life – meditate on it – can you?)

v. 6

“6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

  • This verse doesn’t say, “without faith it is VERY DIFFICULT to please God.”
  • Also it doesn’t say, “without faith, you need EXTRA work to please God.”
  • Actually, “it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God without faith.”

Without faith, no matter how much we try, we are under the wrath of God, the curse of sin. Romans 14 “Everything that comes without faith is sin.”

Without faith, the more we try to do something, the more sinful we become. Why? Without faith, everything all human beings are doing is motivated by selfishness. Without God, without faith, without Christ in me, I’m selfish. I struggle with my own selfishness and my old nature. Without faith, all things humans are doing is driven by selfishness.

So, without faith it is impossible to please / walk with God.

To please God, we need two things:

  1. to believe that he exists (he IS)
    • “I believe that God IS”
  2. and that he rewards those who earnestly seek Him
    • Jesus is not only our rewarder, but also our reward, himself

v. 6

“6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

#1 God IS

What does this mean? “I believe God IS.”

In my personal evangelism, I meet some people who are not Christian, but even they say, “Yes, an absolute being, an absolute, original cause must exist.”

Even James 2:19 “Even demons believe God IS…” (but the meaning is different).

Belief that “God IS” has 3 levels of belief. Let me ask once more: Do you believe “God IS”?

3 levels of belief in the existence of God:

Level 1: God IS (literally) – “there must be someone / something”

The Bible does not seek to prove the existence of God. Rather, it opens with the first sentence as a FACT that assumes “God exists” already.

I’m speaking to you now, so I don’t need to prove my existence to you, right?

The Bible says, “The fool says in his heart, ‘there is no God.'” (Psalm 14:1)

Believing in the existence of God = only the beginning (Level 1)

In this Hebrews, it doesn’t mean Level 1.

Level 2: (Belief as in the Old Testament) – God Exists and reveals himself through what he does.

God created: God is Creator (Genesis 1, God spoke all Creation into existence)

Job 38:7 “When the morning stars sang together, all the sons of God shouted for joy.”

God is the Creator of all Creation, yes? Psalms: “The heavens declare the glory of God.”

We believe in this Creator, but we must not stop there.

We must believe he is a Personal God

Do you believe you were made by the hands of God?

Psalm 139:13-14 “God created my inmost being; he knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise God, because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

We must believe in a personal Creator of my whole being. We must believe that the personal God is in my life.

We must also believe in God’s miracle working power – that he saved his people by the miraculous works of his almighty hand. We know he saved Israel from Egypt – he sent plagues, he opened the Red Sea, the Jordan River, he sent manna and quail for 40 years, he destroyed the walls of Jericho.

We must believe this miraculous power is still available today?

But this is not all.

Level 3 (belief of God as New Testament belief) – The God of the New Testament is revealed in Jesus Christ – the Son of God.

Hebrews 1:1-3

“1 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”

John 1:1-3

“1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.

3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”

This sentence, in Hebrews = we must believe in the New Testament revelation of God (Jesus Christ).

We believe in the Creator God

“…all things were created by him and for him…” (Colossians?)

Jesus made all things – every crevice in every celestial body. Every color, every plant, every animal, every mite that crawls on the ground. Jesus is creator God. We must believe that to please God.

Jesus is Sustainer God. Not only Creator, but also Sustainer.

Col 1:17 “Jesus Christ is before all things, and in him, all things hold together.”

He is supporting and sustaining ALL things. He is holding the moon, the stars, the sun, the sky in place. How is this possible?

Yes, we try to prove scientifically, but basically, they are there because Jesus created them and sustains them. Hebrews: “He sustains all things by his powerful word.” This is the word of the Bible.

We believe all things were created by God for a special purpose. Do you believe this? I believe that God has a special mission / purpose in my life / for my life.

This mic has a mission, the stars, the sun, the moon have their own mission. How much more, we who are created in his likeness?

Col 1:16 “All things were created by Him and for Him.” (for = toward – pointing at him as the final goal / destination). All things have been created and pointing toward him.

Everything is moving – nothing is eternal in this world. All Creation is moving toward its goal in Jesus Christ. This is the purpose why God created his creation. Everything in Creation, in history, in spiritual reality is moving for Jesus Christ, toward Jesus Christ.

Jesus is also the Lover of our Souls. How? Jesus is Creator, Sustainer and the Goal of all Creation. How? How does he love us? Why does he love us?

1 Cor 1 “God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in Jesus Christ to reconcile all Creation to him by making peace through his shed blood on the cross.”

Jesus loves us as Father. The cross is the measure of this love. If you want to know how much he loves you, we need to meditate on the cross.

John 3:16 “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Jesus is the Rewarder of those who seek him earnestly.

But wait, there’s a condition. Yes, he’s rewarded and reward, but the condition: “to those who seek him earnestly…” Are you seeking him earnestly? All the time?

Rev “Behold, I’m coming soon, and my reward is with me. So I’ll give to everyone according to what he has done… Be faithful even to the point of death and I’ll give you the crown of life.”

We know his invitation: “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I’ll give you rest. Take my yoke upon me and learn from me.”

1 Cor 15:58 “Therefore my dear brothers, stand firm and let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

This is the guarantee, the promise of reward. Please, do not receive the grace of God in vain. NOW is the time of God’s favor, the time of God’s grace because we are in the presence of God.

v. 6

“6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Let’s pray.

  • Jan 19 / 2020
  • Comments Off on True Faith Produces Authentic Worship (Hebrews 11:1-4)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

True Faith Produces Authentic Worship (Hebrews 11:1-4)

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True Faith produces Authentic Worship

Hebrews 11:1-4 (Pastor Heo)

1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.

3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. 4 By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.


  • v. 1 – Faith’s character
  • v. 2 – Faith’s activism
  • v. 3 – Faith understanding
  • v. 4 – Faith reality / truth

v. 1 Future / visible certainty (Faith’s character)

v 1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

This is a dynamic certainty about what God has promised. Faith is not just a feeling, not just optimism / positive thinking, but it is a solid conviction / certainty, resting on the Word of God which makes the future present and invisible visible. This makes up the objective contents of our Christian hope. It gives the force of present realities. It enables us / empowers us to enjoy the full conviction / certainty that these realities will be experienced.

If we live an earthly life on earth and a heavenly life in heaven, that is normal. But by faith, we can live the life of heaven on earth, in advance (by faith).

Gen 28 shows the story of Jacob and how he fled from his brother Esau on that terrible night – sad, forlorn, he laid his weary head on a rock to sleep. He had a dream and saw a stairway to heaven – angels ascending and descending. He saw what had been around him all along. When he woke, he said, “Surely, God is here. I didn’t know that. How awesome is this place?” He built an altar and worshiped God there, naming it Bethel (“the house of God”).

Faith helps us under and empowers us to do what others cannot do. So v.1 = strong character of faith

v. 2 Faith’s activism

Faith makes us do something very powerful and active. Do you have faith in Christ? Faith makes us take action against Satan and for the glory of God.

v. 2 “1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.”

Even ancients praised God and received a good reputation because they put their trust in God. People with faith please God very much – but this is not something we must do to earn salvation. If it were, then faith would be just another merit / deed. But we are human beings. Actually, God gives us faith – in his mercy and grace. Because he saves us, he gives us faith. Yet faith is what saves us. This is a paradox.

By faith we are saved.

But we are not saved by OUR OWN faith.

If you believe you are saved by your own faith, then you do not have saving faith.

But if you believe you are saved only by God’s grace through the death and resurrection of Christ on the cross for our sins, then you have saving faith.

  • I think, “My faith saves me.” (not faith)
  • I think, “God’s grace saves me.” (saving faith)

Last Sunday, we saw the story of Daniel – Shadrach, Mishach, and Abednego. The King of Babylon said to them, “If you fall down and worship the image I made, you will be saved. If you do not, you will be thrown into the blazing furnace.”

They knew the results very clearly, yet they declared to the king of the greatest country of that time, “Oh, Babylon, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this manner. God is able to rescue us from your hand. And even if he doesn’t, we want you to know that we will never serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you’ve set up.”

“Even if” does not mean their faith is 90% and doubt is 10%. No, this means their faith is ABSOLUTE trust in God. It doesn’t depend on outward, visible things. They had absolute faith / belief in God. Even today, if we have saving faith, that saving faith makes us a witness of Jesus Christ.

So, Nebuchadnezzar became very angry and ordered the furnace 7 times hotter than usual. They tied up the men and threw them into the fire (even the guards holding them died from the heat). Yet, a while later, he saw 4 men in the fire, “Wait! We threw in 3 men! But there are 4 now, unbound and unharmed! The 4th looks like a son of the gods.” (Jesus? angel? we don’t know).

He shouted, “Come out you three! You are servants of the most high God!”

So, their faith made an unbeliever declare, “You are servants of the most high God.” This is the power of faith in our lives. And “this is what the ancients were commended for.”

v. 3 Faith’s understanding

“1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.

3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.”

What is seen is from what is unseen. Do you know that? Not only in the spiritual world, but also the physical world. Practical faith is to see what is unseen behind or beyond what is seen.

Illustration: Faith allows us to understand that God created the whole universe from nothing with his creative word alone. v. 3 reminds us that all of Creation was NEW at that time (not made from pre-existing materials). God called the universe into being out of nothing. If anything existed before that, that material would be eternal and at the same level as God. But God called all things out of nothing. Simply, “Let there be…” and what he wanted came into being. How can we know that? By faith, not by science nor scientific evidence. Not because we saw it happen, but because we understand what we read in the Scriptures and what we understand of our loving father. We are part of that purpose.

Gen 1 = Creation chapter

Amazingly, almost in every verse, the subject is God. “God said, God called, God blessed…”

  1. God created
  2. The Spirit of God was hovering
  3. God said
  4. God saw
  5. God called
  6. God said
  7. God made
  8. God called
  9. God said
  10. God called
  11. God said
  12. God saw
  13. God said
  14. God made
  15. God set
  16. God saw
  17. God said,
  18. God created
  19. God blessed
  20. God said
  21. God made
  22. God said
  23. God created
  24. God blessed
  25. God said
  26. God gave (“I give”)
  27. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.

We are Christians and the main subject in Christianity are all invisible. God, spirit, Holy Spirit, angels, Satan, demons, heaven, hell. All of them are invisible.

Imagine, if there is visible God, sitting here to receive worship from us. If we could see him, there would be much different change in our actions and attitude. v. 28 “Moses saw God who is unseen. Because he was able to see him who is unseen, he could persevere and do everything he had to do.”

If we could see God, who is unseen, there would be much change / difference in our actions / attitudes / worship. How can we be changed in our actions and attitudes?

v. 4 Faith’s Reality / Truth

“1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.

3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. 4 By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.”

“by faith” is repeated 3x

The background of Cain and Abel = Genesis chp 4

They were brothers, the first two sons from the same parents Adam and Eve. One was a farmer, one was a shepherd. They had to offer sacrifices – Cain offered fruit, but Abel offered the firstborn lamb from his flock. God accepted Abel’s offering in worship, but not Cain’s. Do you think your offering is also accepted?

“by faith he still speaks even though he is dead”

God accepted Abel’s worship and rejected Cain’s. Cain became very angry and God asked him, “Why is your face darkened? If you do what is right, your worship will be accepted; but if you do not, sin is crouching at your door. Sin wants to have you and master you, but you must master it.”

Cain should have repented. But he took Abel out and killed him.

Again God approached him, “Where is your brother?” “Am I my brother’s keeper?” “What have you done? You are cursed and your brother’s blood is crying out to me against you. You are cursed and will be a restless wanderer on this earth.”

What message is given to us from this story?

  • They worshiped together: same time, same place.
  • But they were totally different in offering, attitude, motive, purpose.
    • Cain offered vegetables and fruits, but Abel offered blood of an animal.

Cain’s offering was natural as a farmer. He may have argued: “My offering is much more beautiful! His is bloody and smelly. Also I worked harder to raise mine. Mine also has a greater market value!” At that time, they didn’t eat animals. So he could argue: “Mine is better.”

But we know in the book of Hebrews that the theme “without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins.” This is a timeless truth. They parents and Adam and Eve knew this.

When they sinned against God, God himself killed an animal to cover their sin and shame. When they made this offering, Cain was 129 years old.

This story in Genesis 4:3 begins with “in the course of time” (at the end of the days) – this indicates the end of a period of days – possibly a time God had designated for regular worship. They must have known already that blood was essential for their forgiveness.

Also, they were totally different in their attitude, motive and purpose. When his worship was rejected, God said to him, “Why is your face darkened?” This was his chance to repent and confess his sin – but he became angry and jealous – then he killed his brother. He missed many chances and opportunities to repent.

Even after the murder, God approached him and asked “where is your brother” – here is a SECOND chance to repent. But he told a lie to God.

This means, his attitude was bad from the first.

From this story, what can we learn to apply to our practical lives?

It is very significant that this chapter begins with worship – because worship is fundamental to everything else we do as Christians. Even in heaven, our worship will be continued (Revelation). There will be no more evangelism there, but there will be worship.

I mentioned last Sunday, at that time Cain looked strong and a winner; Abel looked weak and a loser. But in the long run, Cain became the first murderer and the best example of what we must NOT follow. 1 John “Do not be like Cain…”

In the long run, Abel becomes the first martyr in the history of heaven’s kingdom and still he speaks to us about the kind of worship we must bring to God.

Three points about worship:

Do not forget these in your whole life – remember them.

1. As Christians, we have many activities we must do, but worship is Priority #1

We have Bible study, fellowship, activities, outings, activities. We should do them, but worship is much more important than anything else we are doing as Christians. Remember: Worship must be Priority #1 because our worship will be continued without stop even into heaven.

2. Worship is a kind of meeting God, entering the presence of God.

John 4:24 “God is spirit and looking for true worshipers who will worship in spirit and truth.”

We worship God God’s way, not “my” way. Cain worshiped God “Cain’s way” but Abel worshiped God “God’s way.” We worship God’s way because we worship God.

If I worship Buddha, I must worship Buddha’s way.

If I want to go to Seoul, I must use the Seoul way, not my own “romantic, beautiful, smooth way.” If I use “my way” I cannot approach. John 4:24 “…in spirit and truth.”

“I must worship God God’s way; not my way.”

What is the way to worship God? Jesus Christ.

True worshipers must worship God in spirit and truth. Jesus says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” Jesus is the way to worship God, the truth of how we worship God.

Jesus is the way and truth to enter the presence of God.

3. The main spirit of worship is to give, not to receive; to serve, not to be served. That’s why it’s called a “worship service.”

In Korean culture, at the entrance of the church, we say, “Receive much blessing, much grace.” This morning I also received this greeting.

Receiving much grace from worship is good, not bad, but the main spirit of worship is to GIVE, not to receive. To give = first, to receive = second.

“God loves a cheerful giver.”

Romans 12:1 “Therefore, I urge you brothers in view of God’s mercy, to give your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. This is your spiritual act of worship.”

In true worship, I must DO my best to GIVE my best.

In the context of Cain and Abel, Cain gave 2, 3, 4th best quality vegetables. But Abel gave the fat portion from the first born. He willingly gave the best of the best.

God knows our hearts, our unseen motivations, our hidden attitudes and purposes. “God loves a cheerful giver.”

Still today, God longs for those who worship him with complete hearts.

May God bless us all so that every worship may be accepted by God (not by the pastor, nor the congregation). What is important is whether or not God accepts their worship.

We also, like Cain and Abel are worshiping together with the same songs, same sermon, etc. But we must know that our worship is evaluated by God individually, personally.

So, it is possible that some in this room, are having their worship accepted, and others are having their worship rejected.

God bless you to have your worship accepted.

Let’s pray.

  • Jan 12 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Faith! (Hebrews 11:1)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Faith! (Hebrews 11:1)

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FAITH!

Hebrews 11:1 (Pastor Heo)

11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.


Two men met on a bridge, one said, “Let me take 5 min to say why life is worth living.” The other “Let me take 5 min to say why life is NOT worth living.”

10 min later…

They held hands and jumped off together.

This is humor, but a negative story. But it gives us a challenge as Christians in this world. As a child of God, are you encouraging this world? Or are you discouraged by this world?

  • Are you affecting the world positively?
  • Or being affected by it negatively?

The key to this question = faith.

1 John 5:4-5 “Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world. Who is it who overcomes the world? Only he who has faith in Jesus Christ, who believes in his heart that Jesus is the Son of God.”

Faith Story #1

Matthew 8 – a centurion came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, help, my servant is suffering with a paralyzing sickness.” “Ok, I will go.” “No, Lord, I don’t deserve your coming under my roof.” (humility) Jesus said, “Wow! You have great faith! I have not found such a great faith like this in Israel.”

Faith Story #2

Matt – A Canaanite woman came to Jesus and said, “Lord, help me, my daughter is suffering harshly with a demon.” Jesus answered harshly, “I’m sent to the Israelites! You are a Gentile.” “Yes, but please help me.” “It is not right to take bread from the children at the table and give it to the dogs.” “Yes, Lord, but even dogs eat the crumbs from the table.” (patience, perseverance) Jesus said, “You have great faith.”

Faith Story #3

Mark 2 – 4 friends brought their sick, paralyzed friend on the mat. They couldn’t approach Jesus because of the crowd, so they climbed up to the roof and made a hole to lower their friend to Jesus. (friendship, effort) Jesus saw their faith, “Son, your sins are forgiven. Get up and walk.” Immediately he got up and walked home.

Faith Story #4

Mark 10 – Blind Batthemus? – on the side of the road, “Help me Lord, have mercy on me!” They rebuked him but he didn’t stop shouting. He shouted louder and louder, “Have mercy on me!” He jumped up and approached Jesus. “What do you want? What’s your desire? What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see.” (honesty, eagerness) Jesus said, “Your faith has healed you.”

What is the similarity in these 4 cases? FAITH

From these stories we can learn what real faith brings – all things are brought by faith. Faith also produces hope.

Today’s title = FAITH (one word)

Faith = we are so familiar with it. We are believers. Believers = “those with faith.” But what is saving faith? What is faith? It is not easy to formulate a simple definition.

But “faith” is turning our souls to God by confessing and believing in Jesus as Lord. Faith is also an action of the heart. It involves at least our intellectual, emotional, and volitional (voluntary) change.

Three elements of real faith:

  1. Intellect
  2. Emotions
  3. Volition

1. Intellectual

Belief in God, and the Scriptures – as well as man’s sinfulness, God’s redemptive work through Christ, and God’s promised blessings to those who believe.

This is intellectual – but this is not all, not enough.

Even demons have this kind of intellectual faith. James 1:2? “You believe in one God? Good! But even demons believe, and tremble.”

Intellectual agreement is not enough for saving faith.

2. Emotional

Awakening of our soul to his personal nature, and the personal application of what Jesus has done for us.

Of course, we need emotional reaction to the word of God, but even this emotional reaction is not enough to have saving faith.

“Some hear the word of God and receive it at once with joy” (emotional reaction) “but since they have no root, when trouble or hardship or persecution comes, he quickly falls away.”

Even emotional elements is not enough.

3. Volitional response and commitment

This is the logical outgrowth of the intellectual and emotional.

Imagine, if we accept the revelation of God as true and come to accept this truth as applicable to ourselves personally, we must go on to appropriate it to ourselves.

Saving faith = total surrender of our hearts to God, total commitment of our hearts to Jesus as Savior and Lord. “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and take my yoke and learn from me.”

Jesus says, “If someone comes to me and does not HATE his father, brother, mother, sisters, even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Anyone who comes to me and does not carry his own cross cannot be my disciple.”

Saving faith = TOTAL, whole commitment of our lives and hearts to Christ.

“Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved!” (it’s so short)

If you believe in your heart… and confess with your mouth… you will be saved.

But, we cannot acknowledge him as Lord and Savior until we ABDICATE (give up) our own rights.

Do you call Jesus, “Lord?” Is this difficult?

11:1 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (memorize)

As we know, we are studying the book Hebrews. The theme? “Superiority of Christ”

There are three parts:

  1. Chp 1-6 : Jesus is a Superior Person
  2. Chp 7-10 : Jesus exercised a Superior Priesthood
  3. Chp 11-13 : Superior Principle (FAITH)

That is why last Sunday we heard “the righteous will live by faith.” (Habakkuk, Romans, Galatians, Hebrews)

Our lives are controlled by faith, affected by what we believe. Faith is to believe what we do not see, and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.

Faith is to Christians what the ground is to this building. (Is there ground under this building?) Just like, without the ground, this building will collapse, so also we, without faith, will collapse in this world.

This verse is NOT a definition of faith, but a description of HOW it works. Faith makes us be “sure” and “certain” (convicted) of what we do not see.

Hope and faith cannot be separated. Hope = future. Faith = Past, present, future.

Real faith produces hope, hope produces joy, expectation, patience (not passive, negative patience, but active, positive patience based on the promise of God). We hope for Jesus’ return. We hope for our resurrection body someday soon, and we hope to reign with Jesus Christ someday in the future.

Our hope is not like the world’s hope. “I hope so…” (not like this). “I hope I will … in 2020.” No, our hope is not uncertain for the future. But it is CERTAIN – based on the promise he gave to us.

What is Christian hope?

v. 1 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

2 Cor 4:18 “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, and what is unseen is eternal.”

3 Characteristics of our Christian hope

1. Belief in God, in Christ, against this world

Ex: Sometimes, in this world, if we follow…

Challenging question: “Are you following the standard of this world (comfort?) or the standard of Christ?”

If we follow the standards of this world – we may have comfort, prosperity, success. But if we follow the standards of God, we may have pain, suffering, loss.

But our conviction is that, it is better to suffer with God than prosper with this world.

Daniel’s friends – Shadrach, Mishach, Abednego – they were confronted with a choice: Worship the idol and enjoy a comfortable, easy life. OR Refuse, and be thrown into the fire.

What will happen with each standard? They knew very clearly. But they chose God over the world – because they had faith, hope, assurance, conviction that GOD is in control of everything. They could see far beyond what was seen. They could see eternity beyond this world. This is the power of faith.

As long as we live in this world, we must choose one from these choices. This is the point.

2. Belief in our spirit against our senses

We have the 5 senses: sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell

The senses (and the world) tell us all the time “Grip the things of the moment! Take! Touch! Do! See! Eat! Smell!” But our spirits tell us much more – we believe in our spirits.

3. Certain of the future against the present

We must know that what looks miserable at that moment can be praiseworthy and joyful in the long run. What looks wonderful and joyful now can be miserable in the long run. What looks meek and meager can turn out strong in the long run.

Real example:

We know we will study about Abel – the first person who lived by faith in Genesis 4. Cain killed Abel. Cain looked strong, like a winner. Abel looked weak and a loser. But in the long run, the opposite was true. In the long run, by faith…

Also Pilate judged Jesus – he was in the chair of authority and power. Jesus was hanging on the tree. But in the long run, Jesus is the judge of him.

In history, Nero condemned Paul and looked victorious and powerful, and Paul looked shameful. But in the long run, Nero became a symbol of shame and Paul became a good example that Christians should follow. Even today, many Christians call their sons “Paul” and some people call their dogs “Nero.”

We cannot over emphasize the importance of faith.

By faith prayer is answered, we can please God, we can see God, we can grow in faith, we can be constant blessings to others.

  • If faith is so important, what is the source of the faith?
  • If you have faith, can you boast of your faith?

Two sides: God vs. Man

God’s side:

Faith is a gift – that’s why chp 12 says, “Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith – so let us fix our eyes on Jesus.”

“Faith is a gift of God.”

If we have saving faith, we are so blessed, but have nothing to boast of.

Eph “It is by grace, through faith you have been saved, not of yourselves, … so that no one can boast.”

Man’s side:

The main source of faith is the written / spoken word of God. Do you hear / see it every day?

Romans 10:17 “Faith comes from hearing the message of Christ.”

The word of God is the main source of faith. Also prayer is a source of faith. That’s why we need to pray,

“Lord! Increase my faith!”

The apostles and disciples and some men in the gospels asked, “Lord, increase my faith” and “Lord, help my unbelief.” Ask honestly to Jesus because he is the author and perfecter of our faith. “Lord, help me with my unbelief.”

Also, by the practice of faith, our faith grows. (“… from faith to faith we grow… “)

  • Exercise: bodybuilding builds your body
  • Faith: exercise your faith to grow in faith.

God bless us with this verse and message today.

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

Let’s pray.

  • Jan 05 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Let us keep on in the Faith (Hebrews 10:32-39)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Let us keep on in the Faith (Hebrews 10:32-39)

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Let us Keep on in the Faith!

Hebrews 10:32-39 (Pastor Heo)

32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.

35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For in just a very little while,

“He who is coming will come and will not delay.

38 But my righteous one will live by faith.

And if he shrinks back,

I will not be pleased with him.” 39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.


This is the first of a new year, a new decade. But to start something, means something else must end. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new Creation; the old has gone, the new has come.”

v. 32 “Remember…”

If we remember what we should, and forget what we should forget, we will be blessed. We can do that by the power of the Holy Spirit.

v. 32-34

“32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.”

Let us remember what we must remember:

  1. God is our Creator, our Father, our Savior, King, Lord – remember God
  2. Remember who Jesus is in us, what he has done for us – what kind of people we should be, what mission he’s given us.

Do you have stress, pressure, sometimes? There are many hard words in this passage: hardships, tribulations, insults, persecution. When we face these, we need to remember the word of God. “Blessed are you when people persecute you… because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.”

Romans 1:17-18 “If we are children of God, you are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.” (IF) “If indeed you share sufferings in him, we also share glory. But I consider our present sufferings not to be comparable to the glory that will be revealed.”

Christian life is like a marathon. v. 32 “…in a great contest.” (Greek = athleses = athletics in English). We need strong endurance and patience. Sometimes we have suffering, insults, persecution, stress, pressure, because of our mission.

One example: Person A, Person B – they are different in nationality, language, culture. They both want communication, relationship, fellowship. How? One person must learn the other’s language. If A learns B’s, then A becomes low and humble – the student. B is like a teacher, high and strong.

For me, I went to Tanzania as a missionary. We were different in language and culture. I had to learn their language, culture, history. I should not force them to learn mine. So, I began my life there as a baby. Do you remember you first experience with the ABCs? We are like a baby. I must be low, humble, weak, vulnerable. They are my teacher, I’m the student. I must change myself to become like them. BUT, I had a mission – to change them like ME (a Christian). That was my hidden mission.

We know Jesus came into this world to have communication, fellowship, and friendship with man. He did not force man to learn his language and culture (from heaven), but rather, he became lowly, put on man’s clothes, ate man’s food. That’s why Jesus began life as a baby. He became weak, vulnerable, humble. Many times he was insulted, misunderstood, persecuted, and rejected.

v. 34

“You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property…”

Like this, Jesus became totally naked, experiencing the confiscation of ALL his property. Can you also live this kind of life in this world? Jesus lived the life we should have lived and died the death we should have died.

1 Peter 2:21 “To this you were called because Jesus suffered for you, leaving an example for you, that you should follow in his steps.”

But we have hope because we have better and lasting possessions.

The book of Hebrews: “The book of Better”

Better Hope, Covenant, Promise, Sacrifice, Resurrection, Word, Country, High Priest, Possessions – better = superior in quality and reality.

Because we have BETTER, we are LONG-term investors. As long as we are LONG-term investors, we can give up EVERYTHING in this world, except God’s promise. Even if we lose EVERYTHING by unfair treatment, we have a better hope. So our lives today must reflect the buoyancy of this promise. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy, but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where thieves do not break in a steal and moth and rust do not destroy.”

What do we need?

  1. Confidence (assurance of salvation)
  2. Perseverance

v. 35-36

“35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”

How can we have confidence? Assurance of salvation? This is based solely on what JESUS has done for us – not based on our feelings, nor what we’ve done for him. If you base your assurance of salvation only on your feelings, in the same day, you can say, “I’m sure I’m saved; I’m sure I’m unsaved…”

If you put your assurance of salvation in his word, you can say, “I’m saved!” even when angry, fighting, etc. Our assurance must be based on THIS promise, and on Jesus’ sacrifice once for all. We need fortitude (perseverance).

I’m a pastor, but let me confess, I need to be patient and persevere. Sometimes I’m also impatient, so we need to persevere. Patience is one of the great, unromantic virtues. Patience is not easy in times of trials, hardships, difficulties.

Most people can start well! Happy New Year’s Resolutions! And in the time of great effort, everyone can mount up on wings of eagles, to run and not be weary. But it’s so hard to keep on and keep on and keep on even during suffering.

We must understand that suffering can build our patience and mature Christian character. Also, in times of great stress, we can find help from God’s people we never expected, and we can feel his presence more clearly. This all helps us grow in faith and deepen our relationship with Christ.

Romans 5 “We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings.”

The Bible SHOUTS! “I CAN rejoice in my suffering!” because suffering produces perseverance, and patience, and maturity, and character, and HOPE – and this hope does not disappoint us.

James, “Consider it PURE joy my brothers, whenever you endure trials of many kinds because the testing of your faith produces perseverance and mature Christian character… and shown to be genuine faith.”

If you have REAL faith, as long as you stay in this world, your faith will be tested, – and through the testing of our faith, we can receive what God has promised.

Why can we persevere to the end? Do you believe Jesus died for YOU? (Not together as a group, but for “me”, individually). Because he died for ME, and will return for us, we can persevere to the end. Perseverance grows out of our real commitment to Christ.

v. 37

“37 For in just a very little while,

“He who is coming will come and will not delay.”

Do you believe this? Jesus has come, he is coming, he will come. ALL prophecy in the Bible has been fulfilled except just ONE – his return.

Jesus said DIRECTLY (not through the apostle John), “Behold, I am coming soon and my reward is with me.” (last chapter of Revelation) – this is repeated 3 times. “YES! I am coming soon!” (Maranatha – “Come, Lord, come”)

“The peace of God be with God’s people.” – this is the last word of the Bible.

So, if we believe this prophecy, this word of God, how then should we live in this world?

v. 38-39

“38 But my righteous one will live by faith. (from Habakkuk 2:4)

And if he shrinks back,

I will not be pleased with him.””

“My righteous one will live by faith…”

Repeated here:

  • (Hebrews 10:38),
  • Romans 1:17,
  • Galatians 3:11

This is the same sentence repeated. Interestingly:

  • Romans: emphasizes “the righteous”
  • Galatians: “will live”
  • Hebrews: “by faith” (chp 11 = “The Faith chapter” – coming soon~~)

v. 38

“But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.”

Our questions: HOW? WHY?

Many Christians often feel worried, fearful, dismayed when we see what is happening around us in this world. It seems to be going well with bad people in this world around us. “He’s not sick…” But sincere Christians are suffering. WHY? WHY ME? Some Christians complain against God, “why me?! There are many bad people around me! I did my best to serve you! I did my best to serve you!”

This is Habakkuk’s question and ours as well.

God says, “Trust me.”

To trust God fully = to trust God in ALL situations even when we don’t understand WHY such things happened. We must understand that God is directing ALL things toward his final purpose.

The meaning of “the righteous will live by faith” – this is my gift for the new year.

v. 39

“39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.”

Practically, to walk by faith = to walk by God’s word and live for Jesus Christ. Remember, the Christian life is a PARADOX. We must lose our lives for Christ in order to save them.

  • Conclusion: We need to keep on, and keep on, and keep on – focused on Christ,
  • remembering what Jesus HAS done (past), IS DOING (present), WILL DO (future).

This is our Christian life in this world.

Let’s pray.

  • Dec 29 / 2019
  • Comments Off on The Dangers of Sins (Hebrews 10:26-31)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Dangers of Sins (Hebrews 10:26-31)

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The Dangers of Sins

Hebrews 10:26-31 (Pastor Heo)

26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.


1 John 3:5 “Jesus Christ appeared in this world to remove sin… to give his life as a ransom for us.”

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God.”

Jesus came to help, teach, give an example – but more than all things – he came to die for us. His death on the cross is foundational for every other blessing we enjoy – to remove sins from our lives, our eternal lives.

If we are sure that Jesus’ fundamental purpose is to remove sins from our lives, then what should we do with those sins? We must not compromise, we must hate them, we must flee from them and their temptation.

If we compromise, we will find ourselves fighting Christ. If we are friends with sin, we are enemies with Christ. If we are close to sin, we are far from Christ.

“The dangers of sins.”

This is the last Sunday of this year, but the topic is very serious – a warning and threat against the dangers of sins.

v. 26-27

“26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.”

We know nobody is perfect – nobody is sinless – not even very mature Christians. If I say, “I’m sinless, then I’m a liar (sinner).”

“If you claim to be without sin, you deceive yourselves and the truth is not in you… He will purify us from all unrighteousness.”

But remember the point of these two verses: it’s absolutely impossible for saved Christians to continue to sin willfully.

Have you heard: “The sad consequences of mercifully forgiven sins”? What does this mean?

The true, practical meaning is: David is a fitful example.

He was king, at the top of the world. He sinned – terribly – deliberately and intentionally – adultery with Bathsheba, and murdered her husband Uriah by putting him in the front line of the army. He did not recognize the weight and size of his sin. God sent Nathan to convict him, and he was convicted. He repented in sackcloth and ashes and called out to God in repentance. He was forgiven. But he suffered sad consequences anyway: “The sword shall never depart from your house.”

Continuing story: Abnon raped Tamar (son and daughter of David) – then the real brother (not step-brother) murdered Abnon. And Absolom committed adultery with David’s concubines in the daylight – and tried to take over his kingdom (son). David’s son Solomon killed his brother who tried to become king after David.

These are the consequences of sin – even though sin is completely forgiven.

That’s why Jesus says, “If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away because it is better for you to enter eternal life without one hand than to be thrown into the fires of hell. (Likewise with your eyes).”

These are the consequences of sin – even forgiven sin.

v. 28-29

“28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 *How much more* severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?”

If anyone rejects God’s covenant – even the Old Covenant, deliberately, and follows another small god – there is no sacrifice for him because his sin is the sin of idolatry. “How much more severe… those who reject the New Covenant…?”

God the Father, the Son, the Spirit, the Trinity God – is exactly the same for this great project of forgiveness and salvation for all human beings. The plan is the same. Let me explain this one by one.

1. There is only ONE sin the Father God cannot forgive. This sin = to reject (not to believe in) Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

John 3:16 “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 love story of Jesus. Whoever believes in Christ shall not perish, but have eternal life. Therefore, on the flip side: those who DO NOT believe, shall perish.

John 3:17 “God did not send his Son to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

God wants all human beings to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. But he has no choice but to allow those who reject Christ to go to hell.

Matthew 10:8 “Do not be afraid of man who can kill you body, but not your soul. Rather be afraid of the one, God, who can destroy body and soul in hell.”

2. There is only ONE sin that Jesus cannot forgive: not to confess him as personal Savior and Lord.

Remember, “once for all” – this is a key point of Hebrews. Jesus “once” sacrifice is sufficient for all eternity for you and me. But, this “once for all” means, there is no more sacrifice left for those who reject Christ – because his sacrifice is the only and final sacrifice (v. 26b “no sacrifice for sins left”).

Jesus says in regard to sin: “They do not believe in me.”

Acts 4:12 “There is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”

3. There is only ONE sin the Holy Spirit cannot forgive: to reject Christ – not to believe in him as Savior and Lord.

The HS has many jobs and businesses, but his one MAIN job = to testify about Jesus Christ in human beings so that man may receive Christ as personal Savior and Lord and then become a powerful witness of Christ to others.

Jesus says, “When the HS comes, he will testify about me; and you will become my powerful witnesses.” (Acts 1:8 “When the HS comes on you, you will receive power and … be my witnesses to the ends of the earth.”)

Matthew 12 “EVERY sin can be forgiven – but sin against the HS cannot be forgiven.”

Continually the Bible says, “If you speak against the HS, you cannot be forgiven” (i.e. if you reject Christ, about whom the HS testifies).

v. 30-31

“30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

God judges ALL Creation – because it is His Creation. “Just as a man is destined to die once and after that to face the Judgment.”

But to those who believe in Christ, “judgment” = evaluation, accounting, reward

To those who don’t, “judgment” = penalty, punishment, condemnation

“It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

Wait, we are IN his hands now. This is a dreadful thing? Or a joyful thing?

  • To those who believe in Christ, “being in his hands” = safety, protection, guidance, guarantee, blessing
  • To those who reject him, = under the wrath, retribution, but also opportunity with God’s long-suffering patience

Do you have faith in Christ? If you have it, you can know that your faith is doctrinal. But it is frankly doctrinal – sometimes this condones a negative (exclusive) meaning. We should not be “doctrinary” – where we don’t listen to others and condemn them.

But we must be “doctrine” – this is not something we can prove experimentally, scientifically. This is rather something we adhere to, push, and base our lives on. But not only us, but all humans – even non-religious, and humanist. All religions are “doctrinal.”

Two people:

  • Person A (Christian)
  • Person B (non-Christian)

One day they sit together.

  • Person A says, “I wish you receive Jesus as your Savior and be saved – I want to try to convince you.” This is his faith, his doctrinal position.
  • Person B – “You cannot know anything definite about God.” This is HIS faith, his doctrine.

His word is not empirical, not scientific. He has his own faith position.

  • Person B – “You should not persuade others to take on your faith.” (But wait, you’re persuading me…)

Person A, Person B are both doctrinal and living by their own faith and convictions. They have bet their own lives on it.

Person B = bet his eternal destiny on the idea that nobody can know anything about God.

We know our morality did nothing for our salvation – but our morality standard must be higher. Do you agree? As the fruit of salvation, the power of salvation.

Around us, there are so many Person Bs. We must know that they have little concern for what we believe. But what we want to share is what we believe – so our morality and integrity must be higher and have an impact on them.

Today’s sermon: “The dangers of sins.”

Today is the last Sunday of 2019.

The Bible says, “There is a time for everything, for every activity under the sun – to be born, to die, to start, to finish…” (Ecclesiastes 3).

To start well is good, but to finish well is MORE important.

Hebrews = the book of “Let us!” Two weeks ago we studied 5x “let us…”

Today is the last Sunday of 2019.

Let us finish this year very well. How?

Let me suggest:

  • If we want to finish this year VERY well, let us finish by confessing Christ as Lord and Savior, publicly, officially, before others.
  • Also, let us decide to commit ourselves more and more to Christ.
  • Let us finish this year by forgiving ALL – just as Christ has forgiven us. If there is someone you have not yet forgiven.
  • Let us finish this year with a new attitude, new heart, new dedication to Christ in the New Year.
  • Let us finish this year by confessing our sins. If there are any committed, unconfessed sins before God. 1 John 1:9? “If you say you have not sinned, the truth is not in you. But if you confess your sins, he is faithful and just to cleanse your sins and purify you from all unrighteousness.”

Let us finish this year by confessing all sins.

Let us receive the new year with a new heart, new attitude, new dedication to Christ.

“Let us finish this year very well. Let us receive the new year with a new heart.”

Let’s pray.

  • Dec 15 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Five “Let Us”s (Hebrews 10:19-25)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Five “Let Us”s (Hebrews 10:19-25)

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Five “Let us”s

Hebrews 10:19-25 (Pastor Heo)

19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.


Here we come to the shift in the book:

  • Creed -> Conduct
  • Doctrine -> Duty
  • Precept -> Practice
  • Getting Blessing -> Giving Blessing

If we are Christians, we must be sincere in our agenda: HOW to live as Christians.

v. 19 “Therefore…”

Therefore, because of what we saw last Sunday (and in the previous reading in Hebrews), “once for all…”

This is a continuation: “once for all… therefore…”

Brief review “once of all”:

  • the sacrifice was made ONCE
  • effective for ALL people, for ALL time, for ALL places
  • Animal sacrifices had previously been repeatedly offered, with no REAL effect
  • Jesus’ ONCE sacrifice is “more than enough” forevermore for all time and places and people
  • Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross shows God’s perfect righteousness and justice, and Jesus’ perfect obedience and humility
  • When we confess Jesus as Lord and Savior, all our sin is forgiven and forgotten and the matter is settled forever and ever

“Therefore, there is no longer any condemnation for those who are in Christ… what shall we say then: If God is for us [in this matter], who shall be against us?”

If God is for me, who can be against me? This is very simple and easy in English, but it has such GREAT power. “He who did not spare his own Son, … how will he not also graciously give us all things? … It is God who justifies.”

The Bible proclaims and shouts (Romans 8) “Who / what shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble, hardship, nakedness, famine? Nothing / nobody can separate us from the love of Christ.”

v. 19-21

“19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, “

Here we can see at least 3 things about Christ:

1. He’s the New and Living Way to the presence of God

“I am THE Way, THE Truth, and THE Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

This way is “new” because it had never existed before.

Also this way is a living way – not dead – because Jesus is alive all the time. Still he is alive.

In human history, since the Creation of the world, many philosophers and teachers and prophets have tried to find a way to heaven – but nobody has ever said, nor has the right to say, “I AM the way.”

The presence and the closeness to God is available to us simply because of Christ. All life shows God, but the love of God was truly revealed on the cross – when Jesus’ body was torn on the cross and his life sacrificed, God tore the curtain in the temple. This symbolized the new and living way – open and available for all who believe in Jesus Christ.

2. He is High Priest

This is the topic of this book – he is the same yesterday, today, and forever in being our High Priest.

We know the function of a priest is to build a bridge between God and man. This means, Jesus not only shows the way to heaven, but also introduces us to his very presence.

Christmas is coming – Jesus became man to become qualified to act as High Priest for us – to share our hardships, our experience, apart from sin, so that he might be qualified as our High Priest. Think about his earthly life, 2000 years ago. He felt hunger, want of sympathy from others, he had all temptations, many sleepless nights, was tired, exhausted, misunderstood, forsaken, persecuted, delivered to death on the cross. All this way preparation for his present priestly ministry in heaven, interceding for us.

Jesus is the only one person who can cleanse us.

In the OT, the human high priests washed their hands and feet and sprinkled the blood of animals to remove sins – but these things were not enough, only external. But Jesus, through his sacrifice, cleanses our innermost thoughts and desires until we are REALLY clean. God never gives up on us in this matter.

So, this is the great turning point of Hebrews. From GETTING blessing to GIVING blessing.

“Let us!” x5

Hebrews is a book of exhortation, encouragement, that encourages us to persevere.

  • If you are blessed…
  • you need to bless others!

We are the channel / the pipe of God’s heavenly blessing in this world.

If you are blessed, BLESS others!

v. 22

“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”

1. “Let us draw near to God”

(Let us never forget the duty of worship)

God is spirit, so we can draw near to God at any time, in any place – driving, in bed, at school, at work, while brushing your teeth, he’s always available through prayer, praise, crying, whispering, meditation on his word, thanksgiving, worship.

“through worship”

It is given to everybody to live in 2 worlds: whether you recognize it or not – this world of time & space + the world of eternity.

Our danger = to become SO involved in this material world, we forget the other world – the eternal world.

As the day begins, in the middle of our activities, at the end of the day, we must turn aside – if only for a moment – and draw near to the presence of God.

v. 22

“let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”

What about our attitude? Here are 3:

  1. with a sincere heart – God looks at our heart because he is spirit (not hard heartedly, not with pretenses – sincere worship)
  2. in full assurance of faith (not half faith, but FULL assurance of faith – “assuraance” = doubtlessness – he WILL hear us because of the work of Christ)
  3. with clear conscience (cleansed from guilty consciences) – with BOLDNESS – why? how? Based on the work of Christ on the cross – not based on what we have done for God.

“Let us draw near to God.”

3. He is Faithful

v. 23

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”

Let us never lose our grip on what we believe and hope.

Our visible situation may try to take our faith and hope away – our situation may take our hope, our money, our reputation, – it may try to make us forget God. The happenings of life may conspire to shape our faith and hope – so we MUST keep a STRONG grip on our faith and hope that NEVER fails (Jesus).

“Faith, hope, love”

These go together as one – just like each side in an equilateral triangle.

  • Faith = “our trust in Jesus Christ based on what he has done for us”
  • Hope = “trust in Jesus based on what he IS doing and will do”
  • Love = “trust in Jesus based on who he is”

chp 11 = “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

Romans “We rejoice in the glory of God – we rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance, patience, Christian mature character, and hope and this hope DOES NOT disappoint us – because he has poured out his hope in our spirits.”

1 Cor 13 – the Love chapter

“Love is patient, love is kind…”

1 Cor 13:7 “Love ALWAYS believes, love ALWAYS hopes, love ALWAYS perseveres, love ALWAYS protects…”

v. 23 “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”

We must put our hope IN God.

In you put your hope in your money, your material, your hope will be hopeless.

#3 Let Us

v. 24

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”

Let us put our minds to the task of taking care of others.

Are you Christian?

Let us remember this not only for our own sake, but also for the sake of others.

  • Selfish saved Christians = impossible
  • Selfish Christianity = a contradiction of terms because we are saved for service to others

We must spur one another on toward noble living. We can do that by setting fine examples, by reminding others of their traditions, privileges, and duties when they are likely to forget them.

We are “revealers” – showers of Christ. If we are really Christians, we show to others who Christ is and what he is like. Christians are the ones in whom Christ is revealed in this world.

  • Christian = revealer of Christ. We are the visible representation of the invisible Christ.
  • Christ = visible representation of the invisible God.

God bless you!

#4 Let Us

(more practical)

v. 25a

“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing,”

Let us worship together.

Together (in community) is very important.

There are some who give up meeting together in the community of God. Some think they are Christians, but do not go to church services. It’s possible that some say “I’m Christian” but give up meeting together with God’s people, in God’s house, on God’s day.

  • Very clearly: isolated Christians = impossible
  • Hidden disciples, secret Christianity = impossible

To go to church = to demonstrate where our loyalty lies. This shows others what side we are on. Do you need Christ? Yes! If you need Christ, you need church because church (the community of believers) is his body.

We cannot live a Christian life while neglecting the fellowship of believers. This is a valuable time for our spiritual nourishment. God did not design Christians to be completely independent, but rather to be interdependent – to depend on one another to encourage them.

If you skip church, you skip seven days.

Church cannot be substituted with our personal study, nor with only watching it on TV or the Internet.

The church is the body of Christ, the community of believers, and it is imperative that we continue meeting together.

#5 Let Us

v. 25b

“but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Let us encourage one another.

One of the highest human privileges and duties and responsibilities = encouragement.

This world is FULL of discouragement and discouragers.

Many times, a word of thanks, praise, or cheer, has kept a man on his feet.

Remember Jesus’ 8 blessings in Matthew chp 8 “Blessed are the…”

Let me add another blessing:

“Blessed is the one who encourages others, for theirs is encouragement.”

We need encouragement together.

Finally, our duty as Christians together = “all the more” pressing because the time is short and the Day is approaching.

If we are saved, we live (how long?) do you know? You must know. We live eternal life.

“I live eternally”

Jesus “I give you eternal life, you shall never perish, no one shall snatch you out of my hand.”

Eternal life started the moment we accepted Christ as Savior.

But also we must remember that our physical life in this world is very short.

“Your physical life is like a mist that appears quickly and soon disappears; like a flower that blooms and soon withers.”

If we live eternally,

we must live in light of eternity.

We must walk WITH God, before God, and one day we will stand before God to do an audit of our lives on earth. So the closer we live to Christ, the smaller everything else in this world appears.

Conclusion: 5 “Let us”

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith.”

God bless us all with 5 let us.

God bless you.

Let us pray.

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So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Listen