Sermon Snippets’ is an occasional series, taking bitesize chunks from our Sunday sermons. The following excerpt is adapted from a sermon on Hebrews 11:8-19, preached by Nigel Styles last Sunday. You can listen to the whole sermon here.
The Christian believer is like Abraham in Hebrews 11. We don’t think here-and-now is home.
However much of ‘the good life’ we get to enjoy in this world, this is not ‘it’. We’re just making do.
It’s just like going on holiday in a tent. Even if you’re glamping, you still have to ‘make do’.
Every morning, you go and collect the water. You fill up a massive water carrier at the tap across the field. You get sprayed with water from the tap, and then have to lug back the ridiculously heavy water Gerry can, soaking wet. It doesn’t take long before you’re thinking: if I was living here, I’d sort this out! I’d get proper plumbing, with running water and a tap in my tent.
It’s just the same with cooking: you have to make do with baked beans and sausages.
It’s the same with your clothes … they’re either strewn all over the tent, or squidged into a crumpled, tangled mess in your holdall.
But you make do in a tent, because you know it’s not forever.
God has promised us a better country, a heavenly one: it’s ‘the city that’s got foundations’.
And one day, Christians will pack up the temporary ‘tent’ that we live in in this world. And we’ll go to our permanent house with foundations and bricks and double-glazing and running hot water and a bath and a washing machine and an electric blanket and carpets and a sofa and on and on.
That’s the picture in Hebrews 11 of being a believer: you dream of going home to the homeland we’ve been promised.
A place where there is no fighting, no fear, no farewells, no funerals. No hankies, no cancer. No credit crunch, no banks, no locks or keys. No broken homes. And no broken hearts.
And all of that is permanent.
My hopes are not in this world at all. Because God has prepared a heavenly country and that’s where I really belong.