Scripture: “For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city,” Hebrews 11:14-16.
Last week we considered why Abraham and his early descendants forsook the land Babylon and came, at God’s bidding, to the ‘Promised Land’. Today, as we look at these three verses, I want you to notice first of all:
I. THE SIMPLE TESTIMONY THEY BORE
The previous verse says: “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” This then was their testimony.
1. They made no secret of their hopes. They declared ‘plainly’. The word means that they ‘made an exhibition of’ their hopes.
2. They were not ashamed to speak of their hopes. Paul was of the same spirit, Rom 1:16.
3. We are appointed as witnesses. Luke 24:48, Acts 1:8.
II. THE STEADFASTNESS OF THEIR PILGRIMAGE
1. The proof of the Christian is that they do not turn back. Hebrews 10:38-39.
2. The reason for such steadfastness is that they were not ‘mindful’ of that which they had left. ‘Remember’ means ‘make mention’. The old ways do not ‘fill our minds’! Same word in verse 22. Notice Joseph is thinking of the future and not the past!
3. Keeping our hearts and minds on Christ delivers us from temptation. Col 3:1-2. The old world should be a ‘dead’ thing to us, verse 3.
III. THE SUPERIORITY OF THEIR HEAVEN
1. They believed that heaven was better than all the world offered. Ashamed of what we were, Rom 6:20-21.
2. Such a view of heaven pleased God. He saw they were not ashamed of Him.
3. God is not ashamed of such but has a great reward for them. Verse 16. Remember Christ’s words, Luke 9:26.