This sermon expounds on Hebrews 13:13-14, encouraging Christians to forsake worldly pursuits and comforts in exchange for spiritual and eternal rewards in the city of God. Pastor Jim Osman vividly articulates the sacrifices and rejections of aligning oneself with Christ outside the worldly city, drawing parallels to biblical figures who exemplified such faith and endurance. The call is clear: embrace the reproach associated with Christ to secure a place in the everlasting city, highlighting a future that transcends earthly confines and promises.

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Life is full of trade-offs. We constantly have to make decisions on the basis of what we desire most. And when we make those trade-offs, we are always, in the moment of decision, trading or exchanging something that we value less for something that we value more. And we do this every single day with the use of our time, our talents, and our treasure, always choosing that which we think is going to be most advantageous to us either in the short term or in the long term. Most often, we are willing to forego temporary pleasure or even enjoyment if we deem that the long-term benefit of that is worth the sacrifice. We are willing to trade dessert every night if it means that we will be able to fit into that outfit on the special day. We’re willing to work the long hours and put in the overtime if we know that it will secure for us that family vacation at the end of the year or maybe even being first in line for a promotion or a raise.

And the decision to sin is the same kind of trade-off. We choose to commit iniquity in the moment when we regard the passing pleasure of sin as being of more value than saying no to that sin in the moment and the reward that would come for that in future. So every sin is a trade-off. We are taking something that we, in this moment, value more—that is, the passing pleasure of sin—and we are willing to trade that, to take that in order to put up onto the altar and to destroy forever the reward that would come for being faithful and obedient in that moment. We will satisfy and express our anger, our lust, or selfishness, pride, greed, whatever it is, rather than doing righteousness, if we will in the moment think that the payoff for that sin is greater than the rewards for obedience.

Life is full of trade-offs. Sometimes we give up something in the short term in order to gain in the long term. We sacrifice something now in order to have something in the future. And the believer with an eye to faith is willing to pay the price now for obedience and sanctification and pursuing holiness if he is convinced that that which he has fixed his heart and his mind on, his affections on in the future, is worth the sacrifice in the now.

Jim Elliot once famously quipped, “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. And there is such a trade-off mentioned in this passage that is before us, verses 13 and 14, which we just read. Let’s read those verses together: “So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.” There is a trade that is being mentioned in that verse, verse 14. We are willing to go outside of the earthly city—and this is a metaphor, which you’re going to see in a moment. We’re willing to go outside of the earthly city and bear the reproach of Christ in the near term if indeed we are able to gain and to keep that which we cannot lose, which is the eternal city or the lasting city which is to come.

We trade—in time, we trade our embrace and acceptance with the world system for our acceptance in and our embrace with the city that is to come in the future. We can choose to be accepted and rewarded and applauded by the world and by all the worldlings that wish to applaud us, or we can choose fidelity to Christ and receive the applause and the embrace and the welcome in the city which is to come. That is the choice laid before us. And so the author here is asking his readers to make a trade-off, to be willing to trade one thing for another, go outside the city of man and bear the reproach of Christ, and you do this because there is nothing here that will reward you or give you anything of lasting value and significance. And instead, we are waiting or we have fixed our hope and our eyes upon the glory of the city that is to come.

The point of this passage—and last week we looked at 11 and 12 more specifically and we kind of saw the picture that is being drawn there in verses 11 and 12. Verses 13 and 14 are the application of last week’s study in verses 11 and 12. In verses 11 and 12, the author there is describing that sacrifice or reminding his readers of the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement who was killed in the temple but whose remains were taken outside the city, and there they were burned and then buried. That place outside of the city was the place where sin was dealt with, where blasphemers were executed, where Sabbath breakers were executed, and everything unholy and impure and defiling was taken outside the city gate. So the taking of that sacrifice outside the city gate was a reminder to them that sin must be dealt with outside the city. Where God dwelt with His people inside the city, they must be taken outside the city and there openly repudiated and burned because sin is that defiling thing that is taken outside the city gate.

So, the author says, likewise, Jesus suffered outside the gate. The leaders of the nation of Israel exiled Christ and took Him outside the camp, outside the gate, where He suffered near the city, and there they crucified Him and there He suffered. In the place where sinners would go to be executed, there they took Christ to be executed. That’s the analogy. And so our Lord was taken outside the camp to suffer, and there He was cursed for us. There He suffered in our place. There He was repudiated and rejected and scorned, suffering the treatment that we deserve. And this is what we just sang here moments ago, “His Robes for Mine.” He treated as though He were I, and I treated as though I am Him. We exchange robes. He gets my robe of sin upon Him and bears the wrath of God. I take His robe of righteousness upon me by faith, and in that then I am accepted in the Beloved and I stand in the presence of God not just declared forgiven but justified—that is, righteous in His sight because of what Christ has done. Because He was taken outside the city gate and suffered in the stead of sinners and got poured out upon Him all His wrath for the sins of any and all who will believe, He is able thereby to give by faith to His people a righteousness and a forgiveness that they do not deserve. So He was taken to the place of scorn and repudiation and contempt and unholiness and uncleanliness, and there He suffered as if a sinner, though He had a righteousness which was impeccable and a life that was irreproachable. And yet He was reproached in our stead outside the city gate.

So here now the author then draws the application to us. What are we to do in the light of that? When you come face-to-face with the reality that somebody else has borne the sin that you deserve to bear for all of eternity before a holy God and you realize that that person with His eye on you because He loves you and chose you in Christ before the foundation of the world—that that Person who loves you like that, has that kind of compassion and affection, would Himself live His entire life in obedience to the law and then die a sinner’s death under the curse in an impure place reproached in your stead so that He could give you His righteousness by faith . . . You don’t have to work for it. You don’t have to earn it. You can’t merit it. You simply trust and believe, turn from your sin and trust and believe. When you realize that your righteousness is as irreproachable as His righteousness because He was treated as a sinner in your place, and then you say, “What must I do? What can I do? What should I do in light of that?” The answer to that is in verse 13: let us go out to Him outside the camp and there bear His reproach. Verse 13.

Why do we do this, the motivation? Verse 14: “Here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.” We are called to leave one city; that is the city of man with all of its earthly treasures and promises and applause and accolades. We have to turn our back upon that and go outside of that city to the place of reproach, and there we are to bear the reproach of Christ, the insult that it is be called by His name, and having been there, then we are to stay there outside of the city of man because our hope is not in this world. Our hope is not in these earthly cities or any rewards that are even part of this world. All of our reward, all of our inheritance is coming with the city which is to come, and therefore we have to go outside the camp to leave a city so that we may gain the city. The city, which is the fulfillment of all cities.

So let’s look at verse 13, what it means to bear His reproach, and then also today before we are done we’ll look at verse 14, the motivation for doing so. The background of this statement in verse 13—going outside the camp to bear His reproach—we saw that there is a historical event, Exodus 32 and Exodus 33, which are the historical background for this whole imagery that the author is using here. It is Moses after leading the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt and through the Dead Sea out at Mount Sinai. The children of Israel get the law, and Moses went up on the mountain, there received the Law of God—”thou shalt not, thou shalt not, thou shalt not”—all ten of the Ten Commandments and the rest of law with the instructions for the tabernacle and the proper worship of God. And meanwhile at the bottom of the mountain the entire nation was there rejoicing and frolicking, and they had created an idol and said, “This is Yahweh who brought you up from the land of Egypt,” which was a direct and overt and not even implicit or secret repudiation of that God who had led them out of Egypt. And then Moses came down from the mountain and broke the tablets, and some people there were judged.

But then it says in Exodus 33 that Moses took the tent of the Lord and went outside the camp a good way off and there he pitched the tent. And then when Moses would go out to the children of Israel, all the children of Israel could do is stand at the gate of their tent and watch Moses go out to meet with God. So the entire nation had so defiled themselves that they had actually rejected God. And Moses taking the tent of the Lord, the meeting place, and setting it up outside the camp a good way out, that was an indication not that God Himself was out in a place of uncleanliness and repute, but the entire nation had so repudiated Him that He now could no longer and would no longer dwell within their midst. And instead, God is outside the camp where He has been rejected now by the entire nation.

That’s the imagery behind this statement that Christ was taken outside the gate. This is exactly what the leadership of the nation of Israel did. They had so repudiated God in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, that they had taken Him outside of the camp and put Him out in the unclean place, and there they repudiated Him, there they cast Him off and wanted nothing to do with Him. There they put Him in the reproachful place, the reproached place. And now the author is saying, “If you want fellowship with that God, guess what. You have to go outside the camp. God is no longer inside the city.

You go outside the gate. You must turn your back on those who have turned their back on Him so that you may have fellowship with Him in His sufferings.” That is the imagery behind this. Their high-handed act of idolatry and blasphemy had cut God off, cut themselves off from God. And so God was now outside the camp. And now in Christ, God is outside the nation of Israel, and He is calling all men, all nations to Himself.

They would not have Christ. They would not have the fulfillment of their sacrifices, but instead they wanted their animal sacrifices. They would not have the perfect high priest, but instead they want their imperfect priesthood filled with priests who die constantly. They will reject the substance for the shadow and the fulfillment for the type. And so the King, who was the descendant of David’s throne, now had come to fulfill everything and all the promises; they had rejected Him and put Him outside the camp. And the author is saying, guess what. Now, if you want a part in the promises of God, you must go outside the gate and there bear His reproach.

Notice that the author is speaking in a metaphorical sense. He is speaking as if Christ were at that moment outside that gate. “Let us go out to Him outside the camp” (Heb. 13:13). As if He were actually there. He wasn’t. He had long ago, by the writing of this, ascended to Heaven and taken His seat at the Father’s right hand. The author knows that, but he is describing this activity in a metaphorical language—to go out to the place of reproach. You go outside the camp to Christ. In other words, national Israel—remember, he is writing to Hebrews, to Jews, who had long grown up into that old covenant system. He is writing to national Israel and saying, “God is no longer inside this camp now. Just as Moses of old, you must go outside of the gate if you are to meet with your God, and that is in the person of Christ.” Therefore you must be willing, metaphorically, to go outside of the city of man or the camp.

This calls for a decision. They had to leave behind those who had repudiated Christ. Religiously, here is what it would mean. And I want you to remember, before we get to what this looks like in our context, remember to put this back in their context. These were Jewish Christians who had come out of Judaism with all of the sacrifices and the feast and the festivals and all the ritual and ceremony of old covenant Judaism, Old Testament Judaism. And now they have come to faith in Christ and there is the allure to go back to that because they had endured afflictions and reproaches and sufferings already, and now the promise is if you go back to that, things will get easier. It would be easier to be with your family if you could go back to your family religion. It would be easier to kind of fit in with the in-crowd if you’re willing to go back to that old religious system that you had. And the author is not just saying don’t go back. The author’s saying turn your back on all of that and be willing to go entirely outside of the gate and to reject all of that.

So religiously, it would mean that they could continue with the temple and the sacrifices and the offerings and the bulls and the goats, or they can leave all of that and have the fulfillment of the Old Testament sacrifices in Christ, but they can’t have both. You leave one for the other, but you cannot put your foot in both of these worlds. They could participate in all of the empty ceremonialism of the old covenant, or they could have grace in Christ but they cannot have both. You can have a gospel without circumcision, or a gospel with circumcision (book of Galatians), but you cannot have both. These things are antithetical to one another.

Culturally, they can think that their Jewishness—Jewishness, that’s the right word; no more “nesses” necessary—they can think that their Jewishness is their righteousness, or they can go out to the One whose unblemished righteousness can be theirs by faith. But they cannot have both. You cannot trust in your works and in Christ. You cannot trust in yourself maintaining your own steadfastness and hold on to Him by faith at the same time. You cannot have a righteousness that is yours on the basis of your merit and your history and your traditions and your religious activity and be trusting in Christ at the same time. These things are antithetical. Politically, they could seek all of the approval of that rebellious nation, or they could be accepted by God in Christ, but they cannot have both.

And this is the difficulty that they faced. It would cost them. And they knew this because they had already paid some of the cost. Back in chapter 10, verses 32 and 35, the author describes how they had endured a great conflict of sufferings and they had suffered imprisonment, some of them. They had become a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations. Their faith had already cost them. And this is why they were tempted to go back to it. And the author is saying, “Don’t go back. You can have one or the other. Don’t go back to that. Instead turn your back on that and go outside the city gate to have fellowship with Christ.”

It is not unusual for the heroes of the faith to suffer mocking and scourging and chains and imprisonment. In fact, Hebrews 11, that great list of heroes of the faith, says that some of the saints were imprisoned for righteousness’s sake and put to death. They were destitute, afflicted, ill-treated. Remember how the author describes them? Men of whom this world is not worthy. That’s what we have to expect. And so then in chapter 12, the author reminds us that those same afflictions that afflicted the heroes of the past will also afflict us as a wise and sovereign God uses all of those afflictions to sanctify His people and prepare us for the reward that we have to come. That is the chastening of chapter 12.

So, in our context, it will mean that you can have your false religion and your traditions and your man-made philosophies, or you can have Christ, but you cannot have both. Culturally, you can have the applause of the world, or you can have the applause of Christ, but you cannot have both. You cannot love Christ and this world. You cannot serve Christ and this world. You cannot set your affections on this world and the life and the world that is to come because these things are antithetical to one another. You can have your sin and pleasure now and suffer loss later, or you can gladly count all things to be loss for the sake of Christ now and gain an entire world and the city that is to come later, but you cannot have both.

Culturally, you and I live in a time when we are living on the fumes of a nation whose political system, whose culture, whose entertainment is coasting on the fumes of a Judeo-Christian perspective that comes out of the Great Awakening and even the Puritans before that. And we’re just a vehicle that has run out of gas, coasting down the freeway. The engine is off. It’s in neutral. And we are slowly, even more rapidly, beginning to realize that we’re slowing down and we are using up all of the common grace capital that once we enjoyed in this nation. Things are different than they were when I was a kid. I’m not that old. I’m not that old, but I remember a time when times were different. When it was culturally in to be part of some sort of a religious movement and where everything around me was informed by a religious perspective. Even atheists wanted good things and religious things for people.

But we don’t live in that world anymore. Christianity is increasingly becoming countercultural. And so, Christian, you better be ready to be ostracized from the culture and from politics and from entertainment and even from the economy and the business if you are going to be faithful to Christ. Jesus spoke about leaving family and lands and houses and businesses for His sake. And in our nation, we have not yet been asked to do that. Barring some sort of a change, we are going to be not only asked to do that, but we’re going to be forced to do that. If the current trajectory continues, you will be forced outside of the gate. It will either be that or bow the knee to Caesar. And being welcomed inside the gate will mean that you compromise and that you capitulate and that you bow the knee to the spirit of the age and embrace everything that it demands.

There’s coming a point where we are going to be forced outside the gate, and so I would suggest to you that you go ahead and embrace that with a smile, recognizing that when the world hates you, you’re doing something right. Embrace the reproach of faith. I said this over and over again when we were in chapter 11. Those who embrace and suffer the reproach of faith receive the reward of faith. There’s no reward of faith if you do not embrace the reproach of faith, so embrace the reproach that you may receive later on the reward. You have need of endurance, the author says, so that when you have done everything that you should do, you will receive what is promised. There is a reward that is to come, but not to those who are willing to stay inside the city of man and reproach Christ, who is outside the gate.

Notice that the author does not encourage them to adjust their message, to tone down their rhetoric, to find a way to make the message of the cross palatable to people. It is offensive, so find a way to take away the offense and make it something that people will willingly embrace; he doesn’t encourage them to do that. He doesn’t encourage them to make concessions for a seat at the political or social table. He does not ask them to navigate the world’s opposition and to somehow find a way to become acceptable in the eyes of worldlings and pagans who had cast off Christ. Instead, he says to them, turn your back on the false religions, on sin, on its lusts, and care nothing for academic applause, give no heed to cultural commands, and don’t be allured by the praises of pagans. But instead be willing to step and go outside the gate where Christ is, where He bore your reproach before a holy God, and there bear the reproach of Christ in the eyes of a sinful and rebellious world. This is the exchange or the trade-off. Take the love of the world or take the love of Christ, but you can’t have both. Receive the applause of pagans, or receive the applause of One who says, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” But you can’t have both of those things. You must stay inside the city that will be judged or go outside the city where One who was reproached for you is, and there be willing to bear the reproach that the world will heap upon you for His sake.

The word reproach that’s used in this passage is a word that means an insult or a disgrace, and this is what the unbelieving world heaps upon our Savior. They regard Him as worthy to suffer the fate of blasphemers and lawbreakers. They impugned His reputations, His motives, His power, His lineage. They slandered His name. They blasphemed Him. They still do today. His is the only first name that is worthy of being used in the eyes of the world as a swear word or coupled with the most profanest of profanities. It’s only Jesus whose name is taken and used that way. Nobody else. This has become habitual in our world. And the Christian bears that name as a Christ-one, one who follows Him and belongs to Him, and we want to bear that name well, and bearing that name will mean that we end up suffering the reproaches of a sinful and rebellious world, but we are willing to publicly go out and identify Him, to go outside the gate where He is reproached, and there gladly bear the reproach that the world heaps upon Him.

This is the choice we have to make. This is the choice we are faced with. They will call you a bigot, an unscientific fool, unenlightened, simple, naive. The world will say that your morals are repressive and regressive, that your faith is simple and blind, that your priorities are out of step with the world, that you are a hindrance to the progress of technology and civilization and politics, that you’re sexist, homophobic, narrow-minded, intolerant, bigoted, self-righteous because you think you’re right, that you are anti-intellectual, anti-science, anti-technology, and anti-progressive. That’s just a sampling of the calumnies and slander that they will heap upon you if you will be faithful to Christ and regard God’s truth as true. Now you can embrace that, or you could try and seek to have their applause, but there will be no middle ground.

Jesus said in Matthew 5:11, “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.” Like the evil that I just listed for you.

Matthew 10:24–25: “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!”

In Acts 5:41, “they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.” This is the apostles in Acts chapter 5 willingly embracing the reproach of Christ, willing and glad that they could suffer for His name.

First Peter 4:14: “If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.”

The unbelieving world maligned Christ. They called Him an illegitimate child, an unclean Sabbath breaker, a blasphemer, a devil who worked his miracles by the power of Beelzebub, Satan. They mocked Him on the cross. He was the song of drunkards, and those who sat in the gate spoke evil of Him. The world today reviles and shames and maligns and insults and repudiates those who are outside the gate who bear that very same name. They did this to Christ, and rather than being ashamed of Him, we ought to gladly go out and identify with Him.

Now in terms of Christian obedience, let me just make a brief application here when it comes to identifying with Christ. At the very least, this means that a Christian is one who should be baptized because that is the public declaration that I belong to Him and not this world system. That’s the very first act of obedience. Now being willing to go outside of the camp is not only baptism, it’s more than that, but it is certainly not less than baptism because this is the public declaration of identifying with Jesus Christ that He has given to His church.

So will you shy away from this? I’m not talking about baptism. Will you shy away from this, bearing the reproach of Christ in front of an unbelieving world? Christ calls you to bear His name and endure the same insults that they heaped upon Him. So if you want fellowship with Him, then you have it outside the gate when you endure His reproach and you bear His reproach. And if you think this is too much of a cost to bear, if you think that you are not willing to pay this price, and you will not go out to Him but instead prefer the welcome of worldlings, then, coward, shrink back to your own destruction. If you’ll trade fellowship with the King for partnership with the world, then partnership with the world you shall have and that for all of eternity. That is the choice that he is asking them to make. If it’s the company of pagans that you wish to keep, then you will have it with them forever. But you cannot have their applause and the applause of Christ at the same time. That’s the reproach we are called to bear.

Now verse 14, the reward. Is it worth the suffering? The reward. Verse 14: we do this because we do not have here a lasting city, but we’re seeking the city that is to come. Now he hasn’t mentioned in this passage which we read from the top at the beginning, verse 7 and following, he has not mentioned a city necessarily. So, I think that there is here in the author’s mind the allusion to Jerusalem. Christ suffered outside the gate. The gate of what? The gate of a city. Which city specifically? Jerusalem. I think Jerusalem is the center of the religious and cultural old covenant community. It was that which was the center of Old Testament Judaism. The author is here using city now in two ways. Number one, as a reference to worldly acceptance and worldly compatibility, but also as a reference to that entire Old Testament covenant system, and He is saying you have to be willing to go outside of that and there embrace the reproach of Christ.

Our hope is not in earthly cities, not in political centers like Boise or Washington, D.C. or Jerusalem. These are not our cities. This is not our home. We are strangers here. Those are the cities of men, and believers cannot possibly be comfortable in this world. It is impossible for a believer to be at rest entirely in this world and to be satisfied with what this world has to offer. That cannot be because we are creatures of another world, and our citizenship is not here. As I prepare to go to another country here tomorrow, I am aware that probably forty-eight hours from now I’m not going to be satisfied with that place that I am going to. Not going to because my citizenship is not there. It doesn’t feel like home. I’m away from the people that I love and I care for. I am going to be in a strange environment, a place where I feel like a fish out of water. Culturally, it’s not my people.

Well, on a microcosm, the same thing is true with the believer. When we are in this world, the world is not our people. This economic system is not our economic system. This home is not our home. These cities offer nothing to us. The applause and approval of pagans, they should mean nothing to us. The disapproval of pagans should also mean nothing to us because we cannot be at rest. We cannot be satisfied here. We cannot ultimately feel at home here because our home is somewhere else. All of this is going to burn up. Everything is going to pass away. Every city on the planet is going to be destroyed, and every nation that has ever existed and that exists now and that will ever exist will find its place in the history books somewhere as a footnote to the mention of that one great kingdom that is to come and the city that is to come.

The earthly cities say, “Come inside the city and we will welcome you. You make our people your people, our values your values, our priorities your priorities, our loves and affections your loves and affections. And if you do that, we will embrace you and we will welcome you in and we will give you applause and approval.” But we are not seeking that kind of a city. Instead we’re seeking a coming city, the city which is to come, which the author has already mentioned back in chapter 11 and chapter 12. It is not an earthly city. It is a city that all other cities portend. They all point to that coming city, that great city. Every city that we are familiar with, all the glories of it, all the loves of it, all of the attributes of it, these merely point forward to that coming city that we will enjoy on that final day.

Hebrews 11:10: “[Abraham] was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”

Hebrew 11:13:

13 All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.

14 For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own.

15 And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return.

16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them. (Heb. 11:13–16 NASB)

These are the heroes of the faith, doing what they did, enduring what they endured, suffering as they did because they were looking forward to the city that is to come.

Hebrews 12:22: “You have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels.” That is what we want, that is our ultimate reward. So we are to turn our backs on the earthly Jerusalem, the earthy cities of our day, and all that that means in terms of worldly acceptance and be willing to embrace the reproach of Christ because we look forward to this city which is to come, a lasting city, an eternal city designed and built by God, and into it no unclean thing, no defiling thing, will ever enter.

The world ultimately can offer us nothing of eternal or lasting value. Nothing. There is nothing you see around you other than people that will last forever. Everything here will perish and will be burned up. And the believer must fix their hope and their expectation on the city that is to come. This world shames and repudiates everything of lasting significance, and it approves and loves and promotes everything that is of passing, temporal value.

The example we are given in Hebrews 11 is Moses. Remember what Moses did. The parallels here are stunning. In fact, as I read to you Hebrews 11:24–26, I want you to hear the words of this passage here back in Hebrews 11:

24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter,

25 choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God [that is, going outside the city of his day, Egypt] than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,

26 considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. (Heb. 11:24–26 NASB)

Moses left Egypt because he considered the reproach of being identified with the people of the Messiah as being greater than all the treasures of Egypt, and they were all at his disposal. And he did this, the author says, because he was looking for the reward. It’s the same reward that you and I expect. It is the same reward you and I will get for faithfulness. Faith says it is better to be with God’s people in a wilderness than to be with God’s enemies in a palace. You have to be willing to embrace that. Eventually those outside the cities, those who are outside the city of men and the cities of man, they are the citizens of the heavenly city that is to come. And eventually the doors on the earthly cities, the city of man, they will slam shut, and the judgment of God will rain down upon them, a judgment that will make Sodom look like a day at the beach by comparison, and on that day you will be glad that you are outside the city, and you will be glad that you went out to bear His reproach because here is the Lord’s promise. Revelation 22:12–15:

12 I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.

13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.

14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.

15 Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying. (NASB)

Into that eventual city, nothing impure or unrighteous will ever come.

C.H. Spurgeon said this:

To this day the Christian’s place is not to tarry in the camp of worldly conformity, hoping, “Perhaps I may aid the movement for reform.” It is not the believer’s duty to conform to the world and to the world’s ways, and say, “Perhaps by so doing I may gain a foothold, and men’s hearts may be the more ready to receive the truth.” No, from the first to the last day of the Church of God, the place of witness is not inside, but outside the camp; and the true position of the Christian is to go forth without the camp, bearing Christ’s reproach.

May God grant to you and I not only the willingness to do that but the strength to do it as well. Because here we do not have a lasting city, but we are waiting for the city that is to come.