Verses 19-39 are a call to persevere.
VV22-25 – Spur Others
VV32-36 – Lasting Possessions
VV26-31 – Dire Straits
VV37-39 – Don’t Shrink Back
Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”
It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.
So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.”
But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.
That should be an oxymoron in the church.
It was happening in the early church.
It’s happening now.
The writer of Hebrews reminds readers of death without mercy (v28) for those who broke Moses’ Law.
He goes on to suggest that there’s “more severe” punishment for anyone who has
1) Trampled Christ underfoot.
2) Treated His blood as unholy.
3) Insulted the Holy Spirit.
Any of those puts the sinner in dire straights.
Re-read verses 30-31.
For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
That’s not subtle imagery. It’s an in-your-face warning!
How do you avoid dire straights?
Keep reading Expressions of Faith. The answer’s in the next two posts: Lasting Possessions and Don’t Shrink Back.
Next Expression of Faith: Lasting Possessions
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