We just finished the Thanksgiving weekend. It was a time when most of us spent time with family and had a ton of food at our fingertips. It is appropriate that we call the holiday “Thanksgiving.” We have a great deal for which we should be thankful.
Usually at Thanksgiving, we focus on certain things for which we give thanks. We give thanks for the prosperity we have, our families and friends. But we also often focus on the freedoms we enjoy. We are reminded of how the Pilgrims left Europe and came to the New World in order to have religious freedom. The Pilgrims were now free not only to practice their religion, but also to say things publicly that they couldn’t have said in their former country. All of us are the beneficiaries of such freedoms even today.
As we say goodbye to this holiday for another year, I would suggest there is something else we should focus on when we give thanks. It is something that is usually not thought of during Thanksgiving. But it is something most who read this blog have been given. It is a wonderful gift.
The author of Hebrews wrote his letter to a group of people who were experiencing difficult times. They were being persecuted for their faith. Some had lost their businesses and property. Some had been cast into prison (Heb 10:33-34). But even in the midst of such difficulties, the author reminds them that there are things for which they can be thankful.
He reminds them of one of these things in the closing chapter of the book. That is what I want to emphasize because it is often overlooked when we list things to be thankful for. The author writes to them, “Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you…” (Heb 13:7).
The readers of Hebrews had had Christian teachers who had faithfully taught them the Word of God. No doubt, this teaching included the fact that when they believed in Jesus Christ for eternal life, they knew that they had it and that they could never lose it. The author of Hebrews had already reminded them of this (Heb 10:10, 14).
Most who read the GES blog have had the same experience. They have assurance of eternal life. We have been blessed with good teachers who led us into this wonderful truth. I know that as many of you read this you are thinking about that person or persons who gave you this indescribable gift.
The sad fact is that the majority of people, even in Christendom, do not have assurance of their eternal salvation. In some cases, it is because they have never been taught. In other cases, they have been taught it, but they have never believed it. Perhaps their teachers were not able to argue it in a convincing manner. In even other cases, they believed it at one time but have lost, for whatever reason, their assurance.
For those of us who know we have eternal life and will spend eternity in the presence of the Lord, we should just stop and think what it would be like if we didn’t have that assurance. That is the present day experience of most people in churches today. Just think of that miserable and frightening experience.
When we have that assurance we should take to heart what the author of Hebrews says. We should take a minute to thank those who faithfully and accurately taught the truths of God’s Word to us. What a blessing from God that He brought us into the paths of these men and women.