Hebrews 10: 26 – 39
The writer, having just concluded his message to the believers, asked them to stay together as a unit even in times of challenges or what we call times of trouble today. He urged them not to forsake the assembly of the gathering of Christians, more importantly because a lot could be achieved when we stay together as one. In other words, after one becomes a Christian (by accepting and responding to the message of the Gospel), we are supposed to do good works, as in, stirring up one another in love and good deed.
With two segments of his message remaining, the writer moves on to the next segment. He had addressed everyone with the message of the Gospel after which he spoke to the BELIEVERS and his searchlight finally beams on the UNBELIEVING JEWS. This particular sect had knowledge about the Word or the message of the Gospel but had not responded or received. You don’t become a Christian by knowing the message of the Gospel but coupled with knowing the message, one would go beyond knowing into accepting or responding to the message received. This particular people had knowledge but had not responded positively.
The idea painted by the writer was that there would be no more sacrifice for SIN, should they miss the opportunity of getting saved. Their SIN remained knowing there was no other way presented. There was only the one way by which SIN could be destroyed and that was through the Death, Burial and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. To not accept that Gospel was to repudiate the sacrifice that was made for the removal of SIN. The idea is when they heard the message of the Gospel and did not respond, they were willfully sinning which had no more remedy except another Savior came to save them.
Are there any consequences? Yes!
Not responding positively to the message of the Gospel means we are left on our own to face the music of judgment; a mighty fierce judgment at that. Jesus said, “…That whosoever will believe in Him will have eternal life and not PERISH.” According to this writer, there is a consequence for not responding to the message, and not for knowing the message. To continue to hear and not responding to the message of the Gospel is what this writer calls SINNING DELIBERATELY. In other words, giving up and turning our backs on all we’ve learnt, all we’ve been given, all the truth we now know, is repudiating Christ’s sacrifice and we’ll be left to face the judgment on our own.
The writer reminded them of what it meant to break the Old Testament and the Law of Moses; it was never taken lightly, in fact the penalty was death. If the penalty for breaking the Law was death, the idea was how much more would it be, refusing to respond to the message of the Gospel. The writer, I am convinced was not trying to scare his hearers into submitting but he had to make them aware of the fact that, just like it was in the Old Testament, which was only a shadow, the New testament presents the real figure of Hell. It was described as a place of raging fire that will consume His enemies.
God will hold everyone accountable, vengeance is His, and He wouldn’t overlook a thing. God will judge His own people and like David said, it is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God. He is still the same God.
Secondly, the writer in trying to encourage his unbelieving audience appeals to them not to fall away by looking at the past and what they experienced so that they could understand that there is a future and a hope to look forward to. Some of them had been persecuted, ridiculed and some had their properties seized. In the face of all these, their confidence grew from strength to strength. They encouraged and stood by some of their brothers who were beaten and thrown into jail. Even when their goods were seized, they believed in a better and real treasure in Heaven. They were not bothered by the persecution or ridicule.
In the same way, the writer tried to encourage them not to allow persecution, tribulations and the seizure of their goods deter them from making a quality decision. They expressed so much confidence, which wasn’t enough; they had to do the will of God for them to receive the promises. They had to fully trust in the message of the Gospel; they had to take a step towards getting saved.
He concluded his message in this chapter by reassuring them once again that God says what He means and means every letter He says. There is a hope for Christians: which is expressed in the coming again of Jesus for the Church and the writer makes it clear that suffering will not last forever but their Salvation would. In a little while Jesus will not delay but will eventually come as He has promised.
He left them with the way to become a Christian. It is by FAITH, knowing that the righteous will live by FAITH. It is good to have the knowledge of the gospel, there is nothing wrong with suffering BUT the only way to be saved is through FAITH. Apostle Paul said it was by FAITH that we became saved through the GRACE of God. He (the writer) was assured that his hearers were not of those who would shrink away from the message of the Gospel, to end on a positive note.
“You and I can never imagine all the depths of hell. Shut out from us by a black veil of darkness, we cannot tell the horrors of that dismal dungeon of lost souls. Happily, the wailings of the damned have never startled us, for a thousand tempests were but a maiden’s whisper, compared with one wail of a damned spirit. It is not possible for us to see the tortures of those souls who dwell eternally within an anguish that knows no alleviation. These eyes would become sightless balls of darkness, if they were permitted for an instant to look into that ghastly shrine of torment. Hell is horrible, for we may say of it, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive the horrors which God hath prepared for them that hate him. Beloved, the eternal torment of men is no joy to God. Scripture does not speak of the fire of hell as chastening and purifying, but as punishment, which men shall receive for deeds done in the body. They are to be visited with many stripes, and receive just recompense for transgressions. What can there be about hell fire to change a man’s heart? Surely, the more the lost will suffer the more will they hate God.” – C.H Spurgeon
Keep it right here and be refreshed.