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Encouragement and Hope
Heb. 6:9-20


Warning, encouragement, hope, and assurance are just few of the facts of life that we will experience as long as we live. Paul have just written the Hebrews the dangers of falling away. Though a real Christian can never fall way and lose his salvation if he commits sin, he will be chastised by the Lord. Some may even be punished with physical death if they continue to go astray despite of the disciplinary actions being given to him, not to mention the loss of rewards at the judgment seat of Christ. Let’s take a look at the encouragement and the hope written by the Apostle Paul here.

I. Better things that accompany salvation (Heb. 6:9)
A. The word persuaded means “have confidence”. The word accompany according to Webster means “to go with or attend as a companion or associate on a journey, walk, as a man accompanies his friend to church, or on a tour.
B. The “better things” about which Paul had confidence were the things that accompany salvation. What are these better things?
C. Once a person is saved, they will be become “new creature” (2 Cor. 5:17). They will show in their life new Christian character and conduct as written in Gal. 5:22-26 produced by the Spirit as they grow in Christ. They will start to do “good works”, or “bear fruits” which will be a proof of their salvation. The good works or the fruits are for me the “things that accompany salvation”.
D. Not every believer bears the same amount of fruit (“some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty,” Mat. 13:23); but every believer bears the same kind of fruit as proof that he is a child of God (Matt. 7:15-20). Because of their love:
1. They had worked and labored for the Lord;
2. They had ministered to other saints;
3. They were still ministering (1 Thess. 1:3-10; Rev 2:2)

Illustration 1/Application: Bearing Fruit
Every Christian will bear spiritual fruit. Somewhere, sometime, somehow. Otherwise, that person is not a believer. Every born-again individual will be fruitful. Not to be fruitful is to be faithless, without faith, and therefore without salvation.
Having said that, some caveats are in order.
1. This does not mean that a believer will always be fruitful. Certainly, we can admit that if there can be hours and days when a believer can be unfruitful, then why may there not also be months and even years when he can be in that same condition? Paul exhorted believers to engage in good works so they would not be unfruitful (Titus 3:14). Peter also exhorted believers to add the qualities of Christian character to their faith lest they be unfruitful (2 Pet. 1:8). Obviously, both of those passages indicate that a true believer might be unfruitful. And the simple fact that both Paul and Peter exhort believers to be fruitful shows that believers are not always fruitful.
2. This does not mean that a certain person’s fruit will necessarily be outwardly evident. Even if I know the person and have some regular contact with him, I still may not see his fruit. Indeed, I might
even have legitimate grounds for wondering if he is a believer because I have not seen fruit. His fruit may be very private or erratic, but the fact that I do not see it does not mean it is not there.
3. My understanding of what fruit is and therefore what I expect others to bear may be faulty and/or incomplete. It is all too easy to have a mental list of spiritual fruits and to conclude if someone does not produce what is on my list that he or she is not a believer. But the reality is that most lists that we humans devise are too short, too selective, too prejudiced, and often extrabiblical. God likely has a much more accurate and longer list than most of us do. Nevertheless, every Christian will bear fruit; otherwise, he or she is not a true believer. In speaking about the Judgment Seat of Christ, Paul says unequivocally that every believer will have praise come to him from God (1 Cor. 4:5).
So Great Salvation, Charles Ryrie, Victor Books, 1989, pp. 45-46

II. The Encouragement and Hope (Heb. 6:10)
A. God does not forget our work and labor of love. The Lord knows and does not forget the things you have done in the past. Also, all Godly activities they are doing at the time of Paul’s writing, the Lord sees, and the Lord knows.
1. It’s a good encouragement not only to the Hebrews but to all of us Christians too.
2. Everything we do for the Lord, and for others, whether believers or unbelievers will never be forgotten.
3. All our good works will be rewarded (1 Cor. 3:14, 15:58, Mk. 9:41, Dan. 12:3, Jas. 1:25).
B. The Lord Jesus Christ will always be faithful to all true believers. Even if we fail, Christ will still remain faithful for He does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. We have hope because. God’s compassion and mercy aren’t dependent upon our faithfulness to Him, but rather His faithfulness to us.
C. The Hebrew Christians, labored and produced fruit some more, some less. Though they haven’t grown and matured, there’s still hope because of God’s goodness and grace to His Children

III. The call for Diligence, Faith and Patience (Heb. 6:11-12)
A.  called upon the Hebrews to be diligent in their work. The word diligence comes from the Greek “spoude” and means “earnestness, eagerness and haste.”
God’s people are to be diligent concerning the things that accompany salvation. We are to make every effort to do what God wants us to do. (2 Pet. 3:14)
B. Paul speaks of the full assurance of hope unto the end: (Heb. 6:11). Assurance is from the Greek “plerophoria” and speaks of an absolute and entire confidence. We should exercise faith and patience and claim these promises for ourselves. Like Caleb and Joshua, we must believe God’s promise and want to go in and claim the land!
Hope is a compound emotion (Eph 2:12) made up of an earnest desire for an object, and a corresponding expectation of obtaining it. The hope of heaven is made up of an earnest wish to reach heaven, and a corresponding expectation of it, or reason to believe that it will be ours. The full assurance of that hope exists where there is the highest desire of heaven, and such corresponding evidence of personal piety, as to leave no doubt that it will be ours. To the end of life.
C. That ye be not slothful (Heb. 6:12). We have to be careful not to get lazy in our Christian life. The word slothful comes from the Greek “nothros” and means
“sluggish, lazy, dull, slothful.” It describes someone who is lazy and undisciplined
. The word “sluggish” is from a Greek word meaning “dull”. The same word as used in “dull of hearing” (Heb. 5:11). They were already dull of hearing; his desire is they not become dull in the way they live the Christian life.
D. That they have faith and patience. Following or imitating “those who through faith and patience inherit the promises”. Such as Abraham, and other heroes of faith written in Heb. 11. God is faithful to fulfil His promises

Illustration 2/Application: Put on True Beauty
“Follow after… patience” (1 Tim. 6:11).
Patience is the guardian of faith, the preserver of peace, the cherisher of love, the teacher of humility. Patience governs the flesh, strengthens the spirit, sweetens the temper, stifles anger, extinguishes envy, subdues pride. It bridles the tongue, restrains the hand, tramples upon temptations, endures persecutions, consummates martyrdom.
Patience produces unity in the church, loyalty in the state, harmony in families and societies. It comforts the poor and moderates the rich. It makes us humble in prosperity, cheerful in adversity, unmoved by calamity and reproach. It teaches us to forgive those who have injured us, and to be the first in asking forgiveness of those whom we have injured; it delights the faithful, and invites the unbelieving; it adorns the woman, and approves the man: it is beautiful in either sex and every age.
Patience is clothed in the robes of the martyrs and in its hand, it holds a scepter in the form of a cross. It rides not in the whirlwind and stormy tempest of passion; but its throne is the humble and contrite heart, and its kingdom is the kingdom of peace.
Practical Bible Illustrations from Yesterday and Today.

IV. God keeps His Promises (Heb. 6:13-20)
A. God made a promise to Abraham. In which He swore by Himself (because He could not swear by anyone higher). A promise which Abraham obtained after patient endurance. We can always count on to God to fulfil His promises.
B. God confirmed His promise with an oath – Heb. 6:16-18a. An oath is a solemn affirmation or declaration, that one sincerely intends to do what he says and end all strife or dispute. The oath is a guarantee that we can count on. This provided a double assurance that He would keep His promise:
1. Because it impossible for God to lie.
2. Because of the oath by which He confirmed it
C. God’s Faithfulness is our Security and Spiritual hope
1. It gives us “strong consolation”. The word consolation comes from the Greek “paraklaysis” and means “solace, comfort and encouragement.” Our comfort and encouragement come from the fact that it is impossible for God to lie. We who are seeking refuge, need “an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast”. Our hope is likened to an anchor that not only secures but guarantees the ship from drifting.
2. Jesus Christ is our only Hope (1 Tim. 1:1). He is our “anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast”. As a forerunner, He has entered “the Presence behind the veil” (heaven). He split the veil and made it possible for us to… come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb. 4:16). No Old Testament high priest was called a forerunner. The word forerunner comes from the Greek ” prodromos.” It is used only here in the New Testament. It means running ahead. Jesus Christ has gone before us. He is within the veil, in the Most Holy Place. The people could never follow him into the Holy of Holies. But we can follow Jesus Christ, our Great High Priest into the very presence of God.
3. He is our Hight Priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.

V. Conclusion:
Our good works are the better things that accompany salvation. God is faithful and will never forget our works and labor of love. His faithfulness is our security and spiritual hope. He is our high priest in heaven so we can come boldly into the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace in time of need. What is your relationship with Christ? Is He the anchor of your soul? Do you want to claim His promises also? Then come to Him, He is waiting for you to save you and give you eternal life

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