14 Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own.
15 If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back.
16 But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
Welcome to the twelfth installment on my study of faith from Hebrews 11. If you are new to this blog, I have been writing about Hebrews 11 right from Verse 1. If you are interested to read the whole series, click on the “Articles From Yeap Chee Seng” category at the left hand side of this page.
The above passage is referring to people of faith. One of the common denominator for those living in faith is they were always looking forward. Specifically they were looking forward to a country they can call their own. What does that supposed to mean? Where is this country supposed to be? Hebrews 11:16 tells us that this country is the heavenly homeland, our ultimate home that we will dwell in it forever. This is the place where there is no lack, no sickness and no grief. It is a place where we will live in joy forever.
Even religious people have no problem with that. However you must realize that what you will receive in heaven is only for your own enjoyment alone. It cannot be used to help the poor and those who are suffering on earth. There is no way you can send the gold from heaven to earth to finance the preaching of the Gospel Of Jesus Christ to the world. We need money here and now on earth in order to do what God had put in our hearts to do.
Here is where religious people show their hypocrisy. I was in one of their churches before and I witnessed first hand all their practices. They have no problem resorting to any means to squeeze money from their church members to finance their pet projects. However, when we start to trust God for financial prosperity, they will turn ugly. They will use any method to get us to give up our faith. It appears that in their mind it is all right to resort to manipulative tactics to squeeze money from people but it is a sin to trust God for money.
Hebrews 11:15 says if they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. In Abraham’s example, he trusted God when God promised him a new place. So, he packed up and moved there. However, as he reached there, he found himself settling there. He did not own the place. He could have been disappointed and went back to his original country. Yet he didn’t. Why? He still had faith. He did not give up and went back to the place he came from.
Will you give up your faith and go back to the place you came from? I can never imagine myself going back to the religious church I was in before. They gave me a false impression of God, causing me to see him as a hypocrite, pervert, liar and is only interested in asking people for money. I hated God because I believed in the image of God that they gave me. Thank God, he loves me so much that he showed me who he really is. I have determined that no matter how bad the situation looks, I will never be religious again.
This does not mean I have never experienced setbacks after I knew the truth. Some time last year, I decided to give faith a break because I could not see any improvements in my life. So, I looked to secular ways for my prosperity. I turned to NLP, which stands for neuro-linguistic programming. I bought a book entitled “Unlimited Powers” by Anthony Robbins who is the equivalent of Kenneth Copeland in the field of NLP.
After reading a few chapters of the book I was very impressed by it but I put it down and picked up the Bible again. Do you know why? The book was saying the same thing as the Bible. The secular people who are successful have been practising the principles from the Bible all along. The success gurus even conduct seminars charging us thousands of dollars to give us lessons that we can get for free from the Bible. This tells us that the Bible has the formula for our success in every are in our lives. If you insist on being religious and still want to be successful, you may want to register for these seminars.
Have you met christians who have given up their faith? They could be those who gave up faith and joined the religious churches or those who gave up Jesus completely. No matter which category they are in, they are bitter. Not better but bitter. Why is that so? God designed us to be in communion with him. This means we are in our optimum state when we are in close relationship with him. If you are not a christian, you will not know it because you cannot tell the difference. However, if you became a christian and dropped out later, you will feel like losing something. Why? You have experienced the optimum state and now the state is no more. You feel a loss but you cannot identify it. This results in bitterness in your heart. Try to read the posting from those who left the Word Of Faith Church that are available in religious websites and you will see what I mean.
I have had the same experience before. I really wanted to be a christian, to love and obey God. However, the religious church that I was in had convinced me that God is a pervert. The behaviour of the corrupt pastors told me that God is corrupt too. If God had not shown me a church that preaches the true Gospel Of Jesus Christ, I guess I will still be bitter until today.
Therefore, my message here is, don’t give up your faith. Build it up instead. Nothing will improve if you give up.
Hebrews 11:16 tells us about heaven. No matter how good you think your life is on earth now, heaven is much better. We are going to stay there for eternity. So, no matter what troubles you are facing right now, they are all temporary. Heaven is our final home.
The second part of Hebrews 11:16 says that is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. Our God is not ashamed of us when we trust in him and are in faith. Why should we be ashamed of ourselves? No matter how much Satan and his religious forces try to persecute us and try to shame us into giving up our faith, we will still win. We are called for battle and destined to win. They are the ones who should be ashamed of their evil deeds.
God is not ashamed to be called our God, for he has prepared a city for us. This is a city where there are no sorrows, no tears and no strive. There will be full of joy and peace. Are you looking forward to this city?