Apr 7, 2024. Hebrews 11:35-40

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A BETTER RESURRECTION. Hebrews 11:35-40. 4/7/2024. #41

35 Women received their dead raised to life again.

Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. 36 Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— 38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. 39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, 40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.

1. On the other hand

                a. After listing OT believers who did great feats (defeated large armies, stopped the mouths of lions, walked unharmed, escaped the sword, performed great signs and miracles), he speaks of those who

                     were tortured and martyred for their faith

                b. “Others” = other people of a different type (hetaeras)

                     as verses others of the same type (allos)

                                a1. Some were delivered from death while others were delivered to death

                                a2. The difference between those delivered and those who were not was not in their faith, but in the divine purpose of God

                c. Daniel 3 the faith of the believer does not determine the outcome of the challenge to their faith

                d. Acts 12:1-10 James was beheaded, but Peter was released (Stephen was stoned, but Paul revived)

2. Reward beyond rescue

                a. Many were offered to be delivered from death if they would recant their profession of faith

                                a1. They looked for better resurrection

                                                b1. Eternal life and reward rather than rescue from martyrdom

                                                b2. Turned down reprieve for reward

                b. There were many ways the witnesses were abused

                                a1. Mockings = derisive torture

                                a2. Scourgings = floggings and beatings

                                a3. Imprisonment and chains (Joseph, Jeremiah)

                c. The witnesses were impoverished and tormented

                                a1. They wore rough clothes (animal skins)

                                a2. They had little possessions and no homes, but lived in caves and dens

                d. They wandered over deserts and mountains

                                a1. They carried their messages to far places and had to flee to wilderness areas for safety

                                a2. They weren’t well received by great and small

                e. Often they were martyred

                                a1. Some died by the sword

                                a2. Some commentators teach that wandering in sheep and goatskins refers to death by wrapping a victim in fresh skins so when sun dried the skins they were shrink and crush the victim to death

                                a3. Sawn in half (tradition has Isaiah being sawn in half in a hollow log by Manasseh

                f. None received The Promise of reward on earth

                                a1. Heb. 6:15 Abr. did not receive The Promise

                                a2. The permanent inheritance = not on earth

3. He included us

                a. OT saints couldn’t receive The Promise without us

                                a1. Until God completes His plan = no rewards

                                a2. God made the church necessary in plan

                b. The OT believers had to await the Incarnation, the church, the rapture, and the Tribulation before the Millennial Kingdom and Eternity could arrive

                c. The great can’t inherit the kingdom without the small and the mighty couldn’t do so without the weak

                d. The great saints set an example for us to follow, but they can’t arrive at their destination without us

                e. We have something better = salvation in Christ, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and a complete Word

                f. He made them great to give us something greater

                                a1. Astounding love and grace is given to us

                                a2. We must complete the journey they started

Key passage: Acts 12:1-101 Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. 2 Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. 3 And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread. 4 So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover. 5 Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. 6 And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison. 7 Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands. 8 Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals”; and so he did. And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me.” 9 So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.