Hebrews chapter eleven is called the “faith” chapter of the Bible. It begins by saying,
“1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2For by it the elders obtained a good report.”
It goes on to list men and women of faith, giving examples of their faith in action. Notice that I said, “Men and women of faith.” The terminology “of faith” is very loosely used today by one and all. The church uses it, and those outside the church tack this little phrase after the name/s of people who wouldn’t know the Lord Jesus Christ if He stood right in front of them and slapped them in the face.
“Of faith” to the world obviously means something totally different than the kind of faith God is referring to. For example:
· Real faith knows that God created the world. He tells us all about it beginning in the first chapter of Genesis. (Hebrews 11:3)
· Real faith knows that Moses and the children of Israel went through the Red Sea on dry ground. They did not skirt around it.
· Real faith knows that the Bible is the Holy written Word of God.
Well I’m sure you get the point. So what is this “of faith” dribble the world speaks of? Words. Just that. Words. There is nothing behind it. There is no essence to it. It is just letters put together in such a way to make two words; i.e. “of faith.” Unfortunately, this same analysis seems to be applicable to many so-called Christians as well.
God seems to think faith is very important, for He says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him (emphasis mine): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
I started out talking about “faith,” but now I want to put the saddle on the other horse and speak about “diligence.” It is by this faith we seek God, and we should seek Him diligently. Faith and diligence go hand in hand. The Greek word for diligently in Hebrews 11:6 means:
1. To seek out, search for
2. To seek out, i.e. investigate, scrutinize
3. To seek out for one’s self, beg, crave
4. To demand back, require
It is understood that politicians, Hollywood mouthpieces, the media and religious apostates think they are righteous people because they have faith in something (not God of course). The frightening aspect is those who think they are righteous because they are members of a local church, they walked the aisle, they attend church, and they make all the right noises once a week and genuflect to the right moves. Other than that, their interest in God and all things related to Him are nearly non-existent. Once again, the Lord says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” How many of us truly seek the Lord with all diligence?
The Lord says through the Apostle Paul,
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, … Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. … Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:1-7) “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;” (1 Timothy 4:1-2)
He also tells us through the Apostle Peter,
“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:3-9)
If our faith is genuine we will believe these Scripture passages that our Lord has provided, and in our belief, we will diligently seek His face. We will long to know Him more by knowing His Word. We will long for His coming for us, as a bride eagerly awaits her bridegroom. Where is the proof of this in most of our churches? Where is the proof of this in the lives of most who call themselves Christians? Do we fit the definition of faith as demonstrated over and over in the faith chapter; i.e. Hebrews 11? Are we diligently searching the Scriptures for His truth He would have us to know? Are we looking upward for His soon return?
Most who call themselves Christians today, show very little interest in a personal relationship with the one who died for them. There is no anticipation that His shout may be at any moment for His bride, the Church, to come to Him and meet Him in the air. God’s own people were not ready when he came the first time. Is the same true today? I believe it is.
“I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8)
How much diligence would be applied to finding a lost piece of jewelry, or money, or some other treasure in our house? Would we turn the place upside down looking for it? Would we panic? Should not the same diligence, at least, be applied to “seek Him?” Jesus said,
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
The Church today is just as sorry and pathetic as was Israel when Jesus came over two thousand years ago to give His life on the cross for all who would come to Him. Most were not ready. We have come full circle. We criticize Israel for not recognizing who Jesus was when He came at that time and not being ready, but how many of us are diligently looking for Him today? How many today are eager to discuss anything to do with Jesus, especially His most imminent return? The truth is, even in the Church circle, most have other things on their minds. Most are shallow people with shallow lives reaching for their next fix among the world’s enticing treasure trove of goodies.
When Jesus came the first time, it was a somewhat silent event. The world was not aware. This time everyone will know. Events will soon take place on this earth that have never happened before, as was the flood in Noah’s day. He will first protect His bride by removing her to His Father’s house. Then all hell will be unleashed on this planet by the judgment of God. Those who diligently seek Him will not be surprised.
My articles are posted at “Pre-Rapture Commentary” http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com and many are also posted at “Rapture Ready” http://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html.