When I was a youngster, I used to love it when my dad would tell me stories about Dizzy Dean. Dizzy Dean was a character. He was full of baloney and malarkey, but when it came to his own baseball skills, he was such a good pitcher that he could pull off almost anything he bragged about.
Dizzy Dean once boasted that he would beat an opposing team by throwing nothing but fastballs for the entire game. That’s quite a feat, and other team did not believe him for a second. They spent the whole game waiting for Dizzy to throw a curve ball. Sure enough, Dizzy Dean threw nothing but fastballs that night, and he won the game for his team.
Dizzy and his brother Paul both played with the St. Lewis Cardinals for a time. They were scheduled to play a doubleheader against another national league team one day, when Dizzy bragged, “Them guys will be lucky if they get one hit off me and Paul.” True to his promise, Dizzy pitched a one-hitter during the opening game. That night, his brother Paul pitched a no-hitter.
Dizzy’s words often came true because he was such a skilled baseball player–but even the promises of an atrocious bragger like Dizzy Dean are nothing compared with the faithful words of the everlasting God who has declared that all who come to Him through Jesus Christ have a promise of everlasting life.
Our world may not believe that promise. Our world may think of us as a bunch of pious dizzy heads who don’t know up from down. But we have been promised that faithfulness to Jesus Christ will not be in vain–therefore let us be faithful.
The author of the book of Hebrews wrote to remind a group of persecuted Jewish Christians to be faithful in light of God’s outrageous faithfulness. Hebrews’ argument is simply this: God will keep His word. The Christian faith is true. Those who have known God through Jesus Christ will indeed have everlasting life.
Never Give Up
Do not give up, even when God’s promises sound too extravagant to be true. Do not give in, because the faithful God will one day make good on His word. If you have devoted yourselves to God through Jesus Christ then you can rest assured that your life will have meaning. You will find, at the end of your life, that you have done the right thing because God is a faithful God who keeps His word.
As Paul says in 1 Timothy and as the Baptist hymnal retains, “I know in whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.”
God Has Gone to Great Lengths to Demonstrate His Faithfulness
God is not forgetful. He will remember the devotion that you have shown toward Him:
For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater He swore by Himself, saying, I will surely bless you and I will surely multiply you.” And so, having patiently waited, he [Abraham] obtained the promise. For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute. (Hebrews 6:13-16)
The author argues here that when we take an oath we take an oath by someone greater than ourselves. When God takes an oath, He cannot take an oath by anyone greater, so He has to swear by Himself:
In the same way God, desiring even more to show the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose interposed with an oath. (Hebrews 6:17)
Nothing can take away from us the absolute promise that all who come to God through Jesus Christ will have everlasting life. Read more about this topic in my blog on Psalm 36.
Whatever the adversity, whatever the trouble, whatever the problem, do not relinquish your devotion to Jesus Christ. Do not relinquish your willingness to be obedient to His commandments. The everlasting God has sworn by Himself that He will not fail us.
He can and will make good on his promises–let us make good on our promises to Him.
The preceding was adapted by Rachel Motte from a sermon Dr. Sloan delivered at Tallowood Baptist Church on July 29, 1990.