CONTINUE IN FAITH
Why don't we continue in the faith, when Galatians 3:2-3 reminds us that we began with the Lord by the hearing of faith? Paul explains the charge to preach the gospel in I Corinthians 9:16-18, "For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me...."
Paul is saying that he is going to have to do it one way or the other. It has been given him to preach the gospel, but he has the option to do it willingly or out of necessity---it's his choice.
We can keep things in proper focus by remembering that the Lord knew He would have to die on the cross for man, before He ever created them. Jesus Christ paid a high price for our redemption and for that reason shouldn't we be willing to spread the gospel that others might be saved too? Should we not be willing to continue serving our Lord?
It takes daily work to remain willing to continue. Hebrews 10:23-25, "Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering: (for he is faithful that promised); and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works....and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." Our Lord is the example for us to follow to keep from wavering in these last days. Just as He kept His course and finished it on the cross of Calvary, so must we preach the gospel until He comes for us.
We believe by faith, and so we must walk by faith. Hebrews 10:26-31, "....he that despised Moses' law died without mercy....of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?...It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."
The Word tells us that vengeance belongs to the Lord only, and He judges His people. It is a very serious thing to mishandle things belonging to the Lord!
Immediately after He arose to glory and the disciples began preaching the Word, they began to be persecuted. Many lost everything to spread the Word (Hebrews 10:32-33). Our every move is on display to angels in the heavens. They wait to see how we endure our afflictions and reproaches as we continue in faith, and give God the glory when we have a victory.
Hebrews 10:34-39 tells us, "....and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise...."
Keeping those precious promises in front of us will keep us going even when it seems we can't.
Proverbs 30:7-9 also reminds us, "Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die: remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither proverty nor riches: feed me with food convenient for me: lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain."
If the Lord gave us all the comforts that we desire, where would we be? We would deny Him and do our own thing. He keeps us in balance and relying on Him, so that we can continue in the faith. He knows us better than we could ever know ourselves.
Hebrews 10:38 tells us that God is not pleased when we lose our confidence in Him and drop out of the fight. To please the Lord we must continue to preach the gospel unto the end. Yes, there is an end to it----in glory!
"For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry." Hebrews 10:37.
That is God's promise that carries us through the hardships and continuing in faith! One day being in glory with our Lord!