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ILLUSTRATION: In 1952, Florence Chadwick attempted to become the first woman to swim the 26 miles between Catalina Island and the California coastline.
As she began, she was flanked by small boats that watched for sharks and were prepared to help her if she got hurt or grew too tired.
After about 15 hours a thick fog set in.
Florence began to doubt her ability, and she told her mother, who was in one of the lifeboats, that she didn’t think she could make it.
She swam for another hour before asking to be pulled out, unable to see the coastline due to the fog.
As she sat in the boat, the fog began to lift and she found that she had stopped swimming just one mile away from her destination.
Afterwards, she told one of the reporters that were questioning her, “I’m not trying to make excuses, but if I could have seen the shoreline, I know I could have made it.”
EXPLANATION: Last week we saw in v.13 that based upon the altar of the cross of Christ, we were to:
Hebrews 13:13 KJV 1900
13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
We were challenged to get going spiritually, and to pursue Christ each and every day of your life!
I hope this last week was one of the most refreshing weeks spiritually for you.
If it wasn’t then I hope you will purpose to make this week the start of a refreshing walking with the Lord each day!
And while we were pursuing Christ we were to do it bearing the reproach of Christ outside the camp!
To choose to take up His cross daily in our own personal lives and live boldly for Him.
It won’t be easy or convenient.
But as followers of Christ it is the life we are called to live for Him
That reminder of the cross should be all the motivation we need to live for Him each and every day of our lives!
But how many time in life does the water get cold, the waves grow rocky, and the fog seems to set in.
Discouragement sets in.
Anxiety is overwhelming.
The uncertainty of our day can be crippling for some!
In the days when it’s hard to see the cross of Christ behind us, we are given another motivation to keep us going!
You see, while the reminder of the cross should be all the motivation we need, the writer of Hebrews points to the promise that Christ’s death gives us.
And it is that promise that in the midst of the reproach of Christ that we may face outside the camp, that along with the cross of Christ, will help us to continue for Him!


Hebrews 13:14 KJV 1900
For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.
ILLUSTRATION: There’s just something about home isn’t there?
During the holidays we found ourselves at families houses for a few days.
It was fun to be around family, to play games, to enjoy a few days away.
It’s similar when you have the opportunity to get away on a vacation.
It can be so nice to enjoy a few days out of the ordinary routine.
To eat food at someone else’s house.
But there are few things better than getting back home and your head hitting your own pillow in your own bed!
There’s just something so nice about being home!
EXPLANATION: Here the writer of Hebrews tells the reader, this isn’t your city.
For some of these believers Jerusalem had been their home their whole lives.
It wasn’t like our day when you could hop on a plane and fly to a different country.
Many people would live their entire lives in a space that could fit within the boundaries of the state of Montana.
And now they had accepted Christ as their Savior and everything changed.
No longer were they welcomed in the places they once had been.
The walls of Jerusalem that had once been a place of comfort now held possible persecution.
This place that had once been their city, was no longer their city.
This place that had once been their home, was no longer their home!
APPLICATION: Christian… You aren’t home!
You see everything changed when you accepted Christ as Savior!
1 Peter 2:9–11 KJV 1900
9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. 11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
We are now pilgrims and strangers in this world.
And to these first century believers that knew a far deal greater than we do of what it truly means to go without the camp and bear His reproach, they new what it meant to be a stranger and pilgrim.
You know the truth is, most Christians are far too at home in this world!
We spend so much of our life seeking the comforts of this world...
We just need a new car, or bigger house, or better job...
If these circumstances or situations would change, then we would finally be happy.
Can I let you in on a secret… if you think something on this earth is going to give you lasting happiness… you’ve been fooled!
Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t have nice things and be able to enjoy the live that God has given you...
But as a child of God, your final contentment and rest isn’t on this earth!
It’s one day when you get to heaven!
I heard it said recently, that the Christian life may not always pay well… but the benefits and retirement are out of this world!
Friend, while we are on this earth, our goal shouldn’t be to find comfort and final relaxation!
Here we have no continuing city… but we seek one to come!
John 14:1–3 KJV 1900
1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
1 Thessalonians 4:16–18 KJV 1900
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
It is the promise of one day that should be our comfort!
One day if you know Christ, you will take your last breath on this earth!
One day you will close your eyes for the final time
One day you will open your eyes and you will find yourself in the presence of the One Who gave His life on the altar of the cross!
And it is the promise of that one day that should push you to continue on for the Lord!
Sometimes in life the fog of trials will set in.
Sometimes you will feel you can’t go on any longer
Sometimes you will find yourself broken and discouraged in this world that we are living in!
But friend don’t forget, this world is not your home!
“Here we have no continuing city but we seek one to come!”
And here is the reality, we don’t know when that day will come!
James 4:14 KJV 1900
14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
Proverbs 27:1 KJV 1900
1 Boast not thyself of to morrow; For thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
Maybe you are here today and you have plans for tomorrow… for the week… for this year.
But you’ve never made arrangements for eternity!
ILLUSTRATION: Have you ever tried to eat at a nice restaurant.
The first thing they always ask… “Did you make reservations”
Most of the time there will just be a wait, but sometimes they will tell you sorry, we don’t have any more opening tonight.
APPLICATION: Friend, if you haven’t made your reservation for heaven, one day you will find you arrived… but there isn’t any more openings for you.
You see, heaven is a place that you can enter by reservation only… and you have to make them ahead of time.
No one will stand before God one day and be able to slide by.
No one will be able to give a big tip to get in.
The only way you can get in is based on what you do with Christ today!
And what a terrifying thing it is to think that some would say, “well, I’ll take care of that another day.”
To boast ourselves of tomorrow… not realizing that today could be our last.
No one believes they will die today… but some do.
And if it were your day to enter eternity, would you be ready!
Has there ever been a time when you accepted Christ as your Savior?
For those who know Christ… Heaven is a wonderful promise… A place we look forward to.
In Revelation, John is given a glimpse of this beautiful city Jesus has gone to prepare for us.
The place where my mansion will be.
Revelation 21:18–19 KJV 1900
18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. 19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;
He goes on to describe numerous other stones that make up the walls of the city.
And then he goes on to record for us Revelation 21:21
Revelation 21:21 KJV 1900
21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
What incredible stuctures.
And how beautiful it will be!


ILLUSTRATION: Man has composed some incredible structures on this earth.
I can remember going up into the St. Louis Arch as a teenager.
What an incredible structure!
I’ve seen pictures of other structures that have been built…
The golden gate bridge
The Eiffel tower
The pyramids!
Man has built some incredible things!
APPLICATION: And in heaven there is no doubt that the structure will far surpass anything man could do on earth.
But it isn’t the stones that make heaven so wonderful.
It isn’t the golden street that makes heaven so wonderful!
It isn’t the sights that make heaven so wonderful.
No, it is that God will be there!
Revelation 21:22–23 KJV 1900
22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
Oh, to think of heaven without Christ! It is the same thing as thinking of hell. Heaven without Christ! It is day without the sun, existing without life, feasting without food, seeing without light. It involves a contradiction in terms. Heaven without Christ! Absurd. It is the sea without water, the earth without its fields, the heavens without their stars. There cannot be a heaven without Christ. He is the sum total of bliss, the fountain from which heaven flows, the element of which heaven is composed. Christ is heaven and heaven is Christ.703
Charles Spurgeon, “Forever with the Lord,” Sermon 1136
You see Revelation 21:3-5
Revelation 21:3–5 KJV 1900
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
Oh friend, who wouldn’t want to go there!
To be in the presence of the One Who turned an old, ugly, rugged cross into an altar!
The One Who suffered without the gate for you and for me!
On that day when our faith will be made sight!
There is coming a day, When no heart aches shall come, No more clouds in the sky, No more tears to dim the eye, All is peace forever more, On that happy golden shore, What a day, glorious day that will be.
There’ll be no sorrow there, No more burdens to bear, No more sickness, no pain, No more parting over there; And forever I will be, With the One who died for me, What a day, glorious day that will be.
What a day that will be, When my Jesus I shall see, And I look upon His face, The One who saved me by His grace; When He takes me by the hand, And leads me through the Promised Land, What a day, glorious day that will be.
ILLUSTRATION: Two months after having failed to swim from Catalina island to the California coastline, Florence Chadwick tried again.
The same thick fog set in, but this time she succeeded in reaching Catalina.
This time they asked her how she did it, and she said, “I kept a mental image of the shoreline in my mind while I swam.”
APPLICATION: Friend, in this world we may have troubles… life won’t always be easy, especially as we bear the reproach of Christ as we go unto Him!
There will be many times when the fog sets in… the waves are rocky… and you don’t know how to go on!
But when those days come and things seem so dark… Remember, heaven’s just ahead!
One day the fog will lift, and everything will be clear!
So keep pressing on!
We have so much to look forward to!
This world isn’t our home! Truly, we are just passing through!
Christian… You aren’t home yet!
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