MANY PEOPLE START a diet and or exercise plan, but most don’t complete their goal weight or body composition. Why? Because it gets hard. Transforming your body is 85% the food we eat and it takes discipline and endurance to achieve a certain physique. Most cannot go the distance, so they give up and go back to the brownies and ice cream. Not really a big deal, unless you are a diabetic.

I have a good friend that preached one time, “the starting line is for everyone”. Anyone can start, but will you be able to finish the race? “You started out well. Who has hindered you from obeying the truth?” Paul asks the Galatian church. Anyone can start well. Hebrews was written to a scattered church of Jewish believers that were wanting to go back to Judaism. It wasn’t that they didn’t believe in Christ, they wanted to go back because it was easier. They were highly persecuted by the Jews and suffered affliction from the Romans. It was at least easier being Jewish— they were not outcasts. But as a Christian, they were greatly suffering “for all who live godly in Christ will suffer persecution.”

The Book of Hebrews gives multiple warnings of departing from the living God, “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;” Hebrews‬ ‭3:12‬ ‭The writer tells these believers to not be like that Exodus generation of Israelites: who saw the works of God, were fed and loved by Him, believed in Him, but never believed His Word; and through their sin of unbelief, their hearts hardened. This is doubt and unbelief. These Hebrews believed in Jesus, were born again and filled with the Spirit but were doubting because of their intense persecution that God can “furnish a table in the wilderness”.

I’m here warning you again, persecution is coming for God’s people. This is the start of woes. When a woman goes into labor, there are stages of birthing pains and each stage intensifies. The church at large has been lukewarm and live in easy-believism. No more. You must be hot or be cold, a lukewarm person will not endure what is coming. Many false Christ’s are being preached and people are running to a false gospel.

Will you endure the deception? The writer of Hebrews goes on to say, “Do not forsake the gathering” because of the persecution. Many had made it a habit of forsaking the public worship and were in danger of falling away. This was a time that the persecuted church met in catacombs just to be together and worship the Lord as a Body under the eye of the Roman government and penalty of death. Online services are not the gathering and are not the fellowship of believers. Who will you obey? God or man? If you cannot endure light persecution, what will you do when the greater comes? You started out well but will you persevere and cross that finish line?#runyourrace

To Learn More About Pastor Crystal please visit the Leadership Page

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