In mid-May, the Olympic flame began its ceremonial journey from Greece to the site of the Summer Games in London. It was carried in a relay by some 8,000 torchbearers over the course of 70 days. It arrives at the opening ceremonies of the XXX Olympiad today.
Hebrews 11 describes another flame of sorts. The flame of faith and truth. The writer of this inspired text traces the path of this precious torch through the ages of human history and highlights a few of the torchbearers.
And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect. (Heb 11:39-40)
Those ancient torchbearers whose stories are told in the Bible have run their portion of the relay of faith. Abel carried the torch as far as he could. The same is true for Abraham. Sarah. Gideon. David. Rahab. Samuel…
Now, in a very real sense, the torch has been passed to Christians in the 21st century. What will we do with this flame?
- Hide it under a basket? (Mat 5:14-16)
- Use it to draw attention to ourselves? (Luke 18:11-12)
- Allow the flame to slowly fade? (Mat 24:12; Rev 2:4)
- Give in to the temptation to extinguish the flame? (1 Cor 10:13)
- Or hold it high to the glory of God? (1 Pet 4:11)
This sermon traces the flame of faith in Hebrews 11, asks some hard questions, and explores the “better” things God has provided for us. It was delivered on July 15, 2012.