Thursday, November 17, 2011
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1,2a KJV).
In today’s Scripture, the author of Hebrews encourages believing Jews to endure the adversity and persecution of the future seven-year Tribulation.
The “great cloud of witnesses,” not our loved ones watching us from heaven, is actually the people of faith of chapter 11—Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, et cetera. God promised them an earthly kingdom (Matthew 25:34), yet Hebrews 11:39 says, “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise.” These saints are still waiting to see their kingdom, thousands of years later!
Believing Jews living during the seven-year Tribulation will be reminded of those saints of old who endured persecution and yet God was faithful in delivering them (Hebrews 11:33-38). These Tribulation saints are encouraged to endure those seven years—“the race” of today’s Scripture—by following the ensamples of the saints of old (that “great cloud of witnesses” of God’s faithfulness).
Hebrews 13:5,6 says: “…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”
Hebrews is not written to us members of the Church the Body of Christ, but we are comforted in that just as God will not forsake those Jewish believers enduring the horrible Tribulation, He will not abandon us in Christ (Romans 8:35-39).
God will keep His promise to those saints to bring them through the Tribulation and into their earthly kingdom, so we can be sure He will keep His promises that He made to us in Paul’s epistles! If God will comfort those believing Jews during the worst period of human history, surely, God will comfort us in our Dispensation of Grace, to one day deliver us and usher us into our heavenly kingdom. 🙂