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Sinning Willfully

Hebrews 10: 26 – 31

Again and again the writer of this great book brings into perspective the message to the Jews, knowing that he had different categories of people in his audience. There were Believing Jews who had converted from Judaism (abandoning the ceremonies, rituals and traditions in accessing God) and there were also other Jews who had not converted to Christianity through the believing of the Gospel message presented. The writer did not fail to address each group appropriately and without mixing them up.

To the Jews who had believed, the writer advised in simple terms that, “Birds of the same feather must flock together.” He said, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By His death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting Him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near.”

Then he moves on to speak to the Jews who had not yet acquiesced or responded to the message of the Gospel and for the first time he warns them against rejecting the message of the Gospel. He described his message as “sinning willfully”. In the context of this chapter and the preceding chapters of the book, sinning willfully actually refers to the neglect of the message; the refusal to move away from what they were used to, into what the plan of God is; the turning of their backs on what has been presented.

For the first ten chapters of the book, the writer dealt only with the issue of Salvation; the plan of God to move from Judaism which was only a pattern, into the real figure, embodied in Christ – who became our perfect sacrifice. He discussed extensively on this issue of Salvation comparing the real (Christ) with the copy (Old Testament) and how they must make a shift from the Old to the New as elicited in the grand plan of God.

“Sinning Willfully” deals with the Jews, who had heard the Gospel in its presentation (and as described in Chapter Six, they were described as people who had seen the light, gotten a taste of heaven and been part of the work of the Holy Spirit, once they had personally experienced the sheer goodness of God’s Word and the powers) and still refused to accept Christ as Lord and Savior. The excuse for not accepting Christ as Lord and Savior was the absence of the knowledge of the truth; once the knowledge of the truth is heard, two things can happen, its either you accept or reject it.

Once you reject the sacrifice for Sin, there is absolutely nothing one can do to remove or cover Sin. Once Sin remains, the wages will eventually be death again and again. This was a serious one coming from the writer about the consequence of rejecting the message of the Gospel. Like the writer said in Chapter Six again, “Parched ground that soaks up the rain and then produces an abundance of carrots and corn for its gardener gets God’s “Well done!” But if it produces weeds and thistles, it’s more likely to get cussed out. Fields like that are burnt, not harvested.”

The consequence is the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume His enemies. For the first time the writer talks about Hell…just like Jesus said, the one who does not believe is already condemned; only those that call upon the name of the Lord would be saved. Apostle Paul in the simplest of terms said “Anyone who trusts in Him will never be disgraced.” Jews and Gentiles are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on Him; for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

The writer also reminded his audience of the consequence of breaking the Laws of Moses in the Old Covenant. The Law was followed to the letter; no one was above the Law. Remember the woman that was caught in adultery; she was dragged to Jesus and the people wanted the Law of Moses to take effect by stoning her to death. If Jesus did not come, the Jews would have been under the same Law of Moses today. The intention of the writer was to make the people (unbelieving Jews) understand that God says what He means and also means what He says.

If that could happen in the Old Testament, then one can begin to imagine how much worse the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us.

Vengeance is mine, says the Lord.

“Men by their sins have forfeited all claims upon God; they deserve to perish for their sins – and if they all do so, they have no ground for complaint. When God asked Adam, “Where art thou?” man must be lost. We are said by common talk to be in a state of probation, but that is not true: we are all in a state of present condemnation, if we are not in Christ Jesus.” – C.H Spurgeon.

Keep it right here and be refreshed.

 

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