Hebrews 11:11-15
Heb 11:11 (KJB)
Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
(Gen 18:12 KJV) Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? Remember when Sarah first heard the prophecy that she was going to have a baby in her old age. She had laughed within herself. The word in Hebrew for laughed is in the Qal stem which means it is a simple active verb. So Sarah actually did laugh within herself when she heard the pronouncement. However, because Sarah was familiar with how God dealt with Abraham and her family, that He always kept His promises, and Sarah being a believer had faith in God and realized in His timing it would come to pass. Eventually the time came for her to conceive and God had strengthened her body so she would be able to carry and deliver the child. She knew that God was faithful in all His dealings with them and she had faith that when the time was come, God would guide and strengthen her every step of the way. This is a good principle for Christians to realize that Godís timing is not ours and when He is ready to use us in a certain situation, He will strengthen us for the task at hand.
Heb 11:12 (KJB)
Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
Sprang there - Beget, give birth to, or produce
As good as dead - Having become dead or lifeless
Innumerable - Countless or numberless
(Zec 4:10 KJV) For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth. I believe the principle found in Zechariah 4:10 is apropos. Out of one simple act of obedience in faith, God brought through Abraham and Sarah the child of promise through whom would come the Lord Jesus Christ. This verse describes the number of believers as many as the stars in the sky and as much as the sand on the seashore. This means that through the act of obedience and faith in God, millions have been affected. This brings another great Christian principle to light. Never disdain anything small when in the Kingdom of God. Every action we do in the Lordís work will have a ripple effect. This means out of one action, no matter how seemingly small, comes a plethora of results.
I want to just divert for a minute and expand upon the principle of multi-level marketing (MLM). MLM is a big scam which promises people big money while doing nothing. It is nothing more than a pyramid scheme. However, I want to look at the principle of multi-level evangelism. Here is where the principle really takes hold. You claim you canít do much for the kingdom of God except maybe place tracts in your bills. Okay, you place a good solid Bible tract in your electric bill. The person opens the letter and sees the tract and removes it with the money, they take the tract and place it on their desk and then goes and takes a break. Meanwhile, another person sees the tract on the desk and reads it. Now your tract has reached two people. The one who came over and read it is one of Godís Elect and canít get the words out of their mind. They go home that night and become saved. Now you have reached two people and one became saved, thus you have borne fruit. Now that saved person goes out and buys 100 tracts and hands them out. Through your one act, you have reached 102 people. Now 4 people get saved out of that group and each one goes and buys 100 tracts and hands them out. Now through your one act, you have reached 502 people. Now out of that group 20 people become saved and each goes out and buys 100 tracts and hand them out. You have now reached 2502 people. Do you see the principle of multiplication? This line will not cease to be active until the Lord returns. So by that time the reach may be 250,000 or better and keep in mind not only a tract ministry but people verbally speak about the Lord and that may increase the amount of reached people further. So as Abraham and Sarah had blessed the world through their one act of obedience, so you too, can do the same by even the smallest action in the Kingdom of God. So what was that you said at the beginning? All you can do is send out a tract in a bill? Remember, it is our responsibility to send forth the Word and it is Godís responsibility to save those He plans to save. How much easier could He have made it?
Heb 11:13 (KJB)
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.
Afar off - A great distance as in a futuristic sense
Persuaded - Convinced
Embraced - Welcomed or embraced
Confessed - Professed, said the same thing, admit, or acknowledge
Pilgrims - Sojourners
Having believed Godís promises and that He was able to perform what He said He could, these patriarchs had all died believing that at some time God would bring to fruition what He spoke of. Since they all had faith in God they had embraced all the promises and were convinced of them. They had all realized that the timing was not yet for God to bring forth the New Heaven and New Earth which is the eternal home of all believers. This fact made them realize that while they were here on earth, they would only be pilgrims and strangers. They were pilgrims because they had moved from place to place never putting down permanent roots and they were strangers because the redeemed live in a sin cursed environment making it a strange environment for truly holy people especially with all the sin and temptations which the believer has to face every day. There is no peace for the believer on this present earth. Until the Lord Jesus Christ returns to take all the Christians home, we all live by faith and are strangers and pilgrims in this sin cursed environment.
Heb 11:14 (KJB)
For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
Those who state they are strangers and pilgrims on this earth are revealing the fact that they are not at home here and are awaiting the day when Christ will return to take us all to our eternal home. Here we sojourn, trying to stay aloof of sin and avoiding temptation is a full time job. The redeemed of God do not feel at home in this present sin-permeated environment. All true believers await the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to take us to our eternal home where righteousness dwells. We continually look for His return each and every day but while we are here, we need to stay busy in the Lordís work evangelizing this world to gather in the Elect. We also do not set dates as there have been people obsessed with date setting. Date setting is not seeking the Lordís return. If you truly want to seek the Lordís return then get busy getting the Gospel out, for everyone that becomes saved is one soul closer to the gathering in of all the Elect. Once the last one is saved, then cometh the end.
Heb 11:15 (KJB)
And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
They had been mindful - Remember, recollect, or mindful
Opportunity - An opportune time
Abraham was from Ur of the Chaldees and while they were sojourning around the land of Canaan, they could have easily went back to their home land but they did not because they chose to follow the leading of the Lord. In fact, when Abraham was looking for a wife for Isaac, he himself did not go back to Mesopotamia. (Gen 24:4 KJV) But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac. They could have had many opportune times to return but their desire was to keep on following the Lord, especially since God had made such great promises to them. One thing we have to be careful of as Christians is reverting to our old life and that is one major principle that is being taught in this verse. Once God saves us and delivers us out of the kingdom of darkness, we must never sit down and remember the past and the sinful times we had wishing we could go back and enjoy them. The desire for the Christian is to keep going forward as we ponder our eternal lives in Heaven, which is the spiritual land of Canaan. (Phil 3:13 KJV) Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,