SermonTrue Faithfulness is Unconditional
An all-creatures Bible Message

True Faithfulness is Unconditional
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
4 November 2018
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Ruth 1:1-18
Mark 12:28-34
Hebrews 9:11-21

True faithfulness is unconditional because if we are faithful to God and love Him with every part of our being, as we are called to do, then we should also be faithful to care for and protect every part of Godís creation as He calls us to do.
 
In order to do this, we cannot leave out any aspect of Godís creation; we must be faithful to love and protect every other human being, every other animal, and the environment in which we all live from the forces of evil in this world that cause millions of humans and billions of other animals to suffer and die every year, and in the process pollutes our environment.
 
True faithfulness is unconditional!
 
In Ruth 1:1-18, we are told about the love and faithfulness of a Moabite woman, a non-Hebrew, to her mother-in-law, and the God of IsraelÖ

1. Now it came about in the days when the judges governed, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the land of Moab with his wife and his two sons.
 
2. And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife, Naomi; and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem in Judah. Now they entered the land of Moab and remained there.

They did this because of the problems that existed in their home country, because the people were not faithful to God and His heavenly will.

3. Then Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died; and she was left with her two sons.
 
4. And they took for themselves Moabite women as wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. And they lived there about ten years.

We should also keep in mind that the Jews were not to intermarry with non-Jews, but then we would not be telling this story of how true faithfulness is unconditional, at least in the same way that we are in this discussion.

5. Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; and the woman was bereft of her two children and her husband.
 
6. Then she arose with her daughters-in-law that she might return from the land of Moab, for she had heard in the land of Moab that the LORD had visited His people in giving them food.
 
7. So she departed from the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah.
 
8. And Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go, return each of you to her mother's house. May the LORD deal kindly with you as you have dealt with the dead and with me.

This is an indication that both daughters-in-law were affected positively by the way that Naomi and her sons lived; it is also an indication that Naomi taught her sons to live by her faithfulness to the heavenly will of God, even if not completely.
 
And then Naomi blesses both womenÖ

9. May the LORD grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband." Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept.
 
10. And they said to her, "No, but we will surely return with you to your people."

This is further indication that there was true Godly love between them, for the women sensed something different in Naomi than they experienced in their home country of Moab.
 
This is the kind of love that each of us needs to show the world around us when it comes to the care and protection of the whole of Godís creation, including every other human being, every other animal, and the environment in which we all live, for if we all lived this way, maybe a lot more people would be vegan.

11. But Naomi said, "Return, my daughters. Why should you go with me? Have I yet sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?
 
12. "Return, my daughters! Go, for I am too old to have a husband. If I said I have hope, if I should even have a husband tonight and also bear sons,
 
13. would you therefore wait until they were grown? Would you therefore refrain from marrying? No, my daughters; for it is harder for me than for you, for the hand of the LORD has gone forth against me."

This is the way that Naomi may feel, but we seriously doubt the death of her husband and sons was the result of something the Lord did; rather we believe it was the action of the devil and corrupt and evil ways of this world.

14. And they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.
 
15. Then she said, "Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her gods; return after your sister-in-law."
 
16. But Ruth said, "Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.
 
17. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the LORD do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me."

To us, this is the proof that Ruth really loved Naomi, and that that love brought about the fact that her true faithfulness is unconditional, for she was faithful not only to Naomi but to God, even though she was not Jewish.

18. When she saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her.
NASB

This is an example of how the Holy Spirit guides us to read between the lines of Scripture, or to see the story within the story.
 
It also should be a wake-up call to all of us, that others do see and hear our words and actions, and is what they are seeing and hearing coming from an ambassador of Christ?
 
We pray so, for that is who we are to be.
 
As we turn to Mark 12:28-34, we see another way of showing that true faithfulness is unconditional.

28. And one of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, "What commandment is the foremost of all?"
 
29. Jesus answered, "The foremost is, 'Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; 
 
30. and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.'

This is what we mean when we say that we are to love God with every part of our being.

31. "The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."

And if we love God in this way, we will also love the whole of His creation, which includes not only our human neighbors but also all other humans and all other animals, and the environment in which we all live.

32. And the scribe said to Him, "Right, Teacher, You have truly stated that He is One; and there is no one else besides Him;
 
33. and to love Him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as himself, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."

This is true because if we truly loved God in this way, there would never be a ďneedĒ for any sacrifices, which is another reason that there is no death in heaven, and why if we are peacemaking children of God who live in His heavenly will, and encourage others to do the same, we could really have peace on earth as we talk about at Christmas time. 

34. And when Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And after that, no one would venture to ask Him any more questions.
NASB

This exchange shows that true faithfulness is unconditional, or should be.
 
In Hebrews 9:11-21 we see the confirmation of the result that true faithfulness is unconditional.

11. But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation;

This is also why we should be thinking and living in the spiritual realm here on earth as it is in heaven, for this is the heavenly will of God.

12. and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

The shed blood of innocent animals who were killed for a religious ritual cannot save anyone, for only the devil is empowered by the shedding of blood; if we are looking for salvation then we must exercise our faithfulness in the Lord.

13. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled, sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh,

If faith can save us, as the Bible teaches, then why would we need anything else; the simple answer is we donít.

14. how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

And this is what happens when we live in the heavenly will of God, and live here on earth as His peacemaking children; we donít need anything else.
 
True faithfulness is unconditional.  

15. And for this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, in order that since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

Since there is not pain or death in heaven, then anything or anyone that causes death here on earth is not of God, but of this corrupt world.

16. For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it.

Again, this is because it is worldly and not heavenly.

17. For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives.
 
18. Therefore even the first covenant was not inaugurated without blood.

And this covenant came about because people disobeyed the Lord and followed the will of the devil.

19. For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the Law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people,

Every single one of those commandments was the result of living in the corrupt and evil ways of this world; if humans had not disobeyed God, this would have never have happened, and we need to recognize this fact and be faithful to our One and only God, for true faithfulness is unconditional and is the only thing that leads us to eternal life with the Lord in heaven.

20. saying, "This is the blood of the covenant which God commanded you."

God really only commanded us to be obedient, which if we had listened would have eliminated the blood of the covenant.

21. And in the same way he sprinkled both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry with the blood.
NASB

As we just said, obedience eliminates any need for blood, if it every did, and the same is true here.
 
All we need to do is be faithful to the Lord our God, and listen to Him, and live in His heavenly will, for true faithfulness is unconditional and through it and Him we shall enter the eternal realm of heaven and be with Him for ever and ever.
 
Amen?
 
Amen.

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